Wednesday, December 31, 2008

curious girl ♥ curious pillows

head over heels for these quirky little bags of fluff from bonjour mon coussin.

over the last few days, I have been emptying random pillows around the house of their fluff, to provide to our woodland friends. I realized that I have quite a collection of pillows.

the funny thing is that the pillows I have stored away represent different stages of living for me. homemade velvet patchwork represents the little bohemian girl with no money from the 90s. I went through an exotic phase and collected several pillows made of bright and shiny saris. there are stars, stripes, solids, paisleys. I'm perplexed by the white eyelet; perhaps from a time buried so deep in my psyche that its memory is not accessible. I think I want to make a quilt of these pieces of my history.

Monday, December 29, 2008

mosaic monday

yesterday I was sitting outside staring into the forest (I know, so very industrious!) and I watched a little squirrel family move house. apparently, they were evicted from one tree or otherwise found it unsatisfactory and were busy making a nest in a tree right next door. they had a little system where one guy would hunt for the perfect leaves, frantically scouring the trees, detaching small branches with leaves and running it back to the hollow of the tree. the other guy would wait at the "door", accept the branch and disappear inside for some unknown nesting ritual. all I could think was how I love my bed and am so happy that I don't have to sleep on old scratchy dried leaves. I found some pillow filler inside and left it on the fence for them to find. it was gone this morning.

so the entire point of this story is that I am so grateful for my home. in addition to the best bed ever, it is full of things that I love like color, books, dogs, coffee, candles, music, flowers and love.

and have a peek at the narci wall. how it's grown! remember when it was just a wee bairn?

happy monday, dear ones.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

light at the end of the week

this week and in the weeks to come am paying attention to being light and clean.

this is on its way; has anyone attempted/completed it? apparently, there are entire flickr groups dedicated to it. I hope apartment therapy does a weekly cure post in 2009. I need all the help I can get.

we are installing these this year. one beautiful thing about our home is that it is surrounded by centuries-old trees. the downside to having centuries-old trees is that mr. sun has some difficulty reaching inside. the top of the house is the only place sunlight can stream in uninterrupted, so we're going to take advantage of that.

am having a strong desire to go with these (and am drawn to an oval shape, which I'm not seeing here). currently I have an eclectic blend of dinnerware that represent different chapters of my life: mexican talavera, vintage bauer, rainbow stripes, harlequin, apple green. I do love my assorted plates, bowls and cups, but am drawn lately to the clean and pure. I will pack them away. in a few years, I will want them and it will be like opening a present of rainbow history.

meet my new years baby; a sister blog to curious girl. the intention is to post regularly about my (seemingly) never ending journey to being healthy in body, mind and spirit. I hope it will keep me focused and committed to health in much the same way that curious girl has kept my focus on life, color and creativity.

Friday, December 26, 2008


last night I dreamed I had coffee with james mcavoy while wearing a poncho made of stars.

while I get the starry poncho, the whole mcavoy thing leaves me completely baffled. (*wink*)

care to provide some dream analysis?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

christmas color

many presents have been opened. many cinnamon rolls have been consumed. I took my cocoa outside because the sun is bright and actually kind of warm. the yard was quiet and I could hear the kids next door as they delighted in santa's choices. I miss my girl and those days of christmas glee.

yes, I know. but everyone has to have a christmas light blur shot. they are so very pretty.

the butterfly tree is whimsical. but I think next year I'll go back to vintage mercury glass.

the bike riding duck brought more smiles than the iphones.

to you and yours

a very merry christmas day; filled with love, warmth, laughter, friends, hot cocoa, fireside chats and all that you ever wished for.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

more about feed the world...

how much do I love these two men? it's just unfathomable.

I can watch "live aid" over and over again...all gazillion hours of it. I am amazed at the love and talent each and every time. who are the celebrities today that harness their brilliance and resources to do this much good in the world?

and I don't think that sir geldof gets his share of respect after that dodgy american knock-off stole his thunder. (okay, am totally shocked that I still carry rage over how everyone thought "we are the world" was such an original idea! really lisa, let it go.)

I love watching the band aid video. I love that sting looks a little stoned and I heart those slouchy bananarama sweatshirts. and I just love the words of the song.

these two, they get me every time. still working for change.

and still totally hot.

raise a glass to everyone.

many thanks to rachel for posting this bit of christmas nostalgia earlier this week.

even though I have heard this a thousand times, it never fails to send chills down my spine when I hear bono sing, "tonight thank god it's them, instead of you."

this year, it may be hard to think of those less fortunate, because we are all pretty much less fortunate due to the greed, corruption and general hatefulness that has plagued us over the past 8 years.

raise a glass to the future, to change, to those who have never known the joy of gifts under the tree, too much to eat and the comfort of nights free from the terror of war and disease.

do what you can.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

p is for

peace. my wish for you.

paul smith lomo fisheye. (so not) available here. anyone know a secret source? I really, really need this.

pears. perfect in winter. perfectly captured by ken.

pom-poms on ponchos. plus a very scary elf make a perfectly hideous christmas sweater.

pleasant. such a nice word.

paris tea. it's my new favorite. maybe even better than coffee. well, not really.

photobooth fun. look at those eyes!
happy tuesday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

mosaic monday

solstice blue, green, purple, gold and silver. beautiful colous of winter.

happy hanukkah. happy winter.
curated from my flickr faves.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

light at the end of the week

the winter solstice has arrived. time to slow down, rest, nest, recoup, nurture. I love how nature gently forces us to do these things even when our lives want to stay in overdrive and resist the season of slow.

it was a decent week in my quest to lighten up. I spent some time exploring reasons and ways to let go and just be. more healthy food found its way to my mouth and I found ways to increase movement throughout week. the result: me, two pounds lighter and feeling a bit more grounded, yet still searching.

yesterday I got to help deliver christmas food and gifts to local families. my part was so very small in comparison to the massive commitment made by the lovely people at holy cross church and sweet meggan; still a beautiful reminder that giving is restorative and essential for a light soul.

I explored light with my camera, mostly through studying how light affects subjects. the week was a bit dark and dreary, with few opportunities to play with natural light. today's photos are of yesterday's sunrise over our little forest, taken from my backyard. an hour after this technicolor drama played out, the sky decided it would be another black and white day.

this coming week, the journey to light continues:

yoga, walking and healthy food choices and maybe even a visit to the gym (jeez, it's been awhile!)

explore the blurring of christmas lights with my camera.

have some fun on hideous christmas sweater day at work and find new ways to increase laughter at the office.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


if I were to surrender, it would be with these colorful streamers, not a plain white flag.

if I were to surrender.

this week two lovely souls have me thinking about holding on and letting go.

rachel at blue algae creative is looking at our tendency to possess beauty. I'm still pondering my slant here. I am such a hoarder of things I think are beautiful and am just learning, at the tender age of 44, to openly share these things with others. I am challenged here. greatly challenged. I am like the seagulls in nemo.

kelly speaks of feeling tender. her words, "changed forever by an instance that can never be undone" resonated. what do you do with these kinds of memories? where do you put them? how do you earn forgiveness, redemption, or at the very least, a bit of numbness when they come storming out of nowhere as you lay in bed on a peaceful saturday morning? how do you purge those feelings of deep regret? or can you? do they just become woven into the fabric that is you?

for me these two things go hand in hand. I realize that my desire to possess is my pathetic little effort at making pretty a little piece of me that is not. I don't sit well with ugly. but there it is, refusing to give up the fight.

there can be no lightening up without a bit of surrender.

Friday, December 19, 2008

instructions for a curious life

need a jump start on those new years resolutions? ready made has these fantastic posters available for free download.

this curious girl likes "hello".

which one will become your mantra for 2009?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

day & night

I want to explore light with my camera. so far this week, it's been overcast with no sunlight. I played around a bit with artificial lighting and am intrigued by the differences between natural and unnatural illumination.

in an attempt to understand how light changes a subject and scene, I perused my archives and found these two images of one of my favorite subjects, a colorful vintage neon sign. no big photography revelation here, just my continued exploration as I feel my way through this self-taught photo thing-a-ma-jig I got going on.

our friend the sun plays up the color and shadow and exposes age and detail.

while mr. neon turns the color into a hypnotic mix of glow and reflection, camouflaging any distressed bits.

both beautiful in their own way.

Monday, December 15, 2008

mosaic monday

word for the week: luminescence.

flickr magic.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

starting at the bottom

I better get moving on that list of mine. there are 44 things to accomplish, and they are not all things that can be done easily or quickly. let's start with 44. lighten up.

I have actually put quite a bit of effort into this over the past year. the blog you are reading is a manifestation of this desire. but I have a way to go. I still need to consciously remind myself to lighten up when things are bleak, heavy, too serious for any one's good. the tightly-wound bundle of nerves I was a year ago has loosened and my life and work are filled with a good measure of levity; however, there is still work to be done. lighten up has a permanent place on my list.

and I have subcategories. (while I realize that having subcategories is not at all in the spirit of lighten up, it just makes it easier for me to focus.) I would like light and grace and radiance and luminosity to permeate my spirit, my body, my movement, my art. and I want to do all this while still being me (energetic, dynamic, somewhat loud, assertive). ok, so I'm aware that now #44 is basically contradicting itself because to do all this will take serious effort and intensity. see how that works? I went from lightness to intensity in the course of one paragraph.

so I'm going to take a bit of the advice I would give a client faced with an overwhelming task: break it down into small actions and work them with regularity.

sundays provide me a buffer zone, a space to recharge, regroup, let go and refocus. since I don't attend a religious or spiritual service, I will spend some time and energy each sunday to develop two or three actions I can practice throughout the week to infuse some lightness.

this week I am challenging myself to capture lightness with my camera; to move away from bold for one moment and see grace and tenderness.


in a complete moment of utter kismet, yesterday I wandered upon the blog of karen maezen miller (thanks christy, for having her on your sidebar). zen has always been a challenge for me. after reading a bit, I decided to suspend judgement and be open to hearing a different message (hooray! I did zen!...see how I'm all about the accomplishment? so not zen.). I will check in with karen a few times this week.


I really have continued to eat like it's thanksgiving every day since thanksgiving. I feel heavy and sluggish. nourishing, healthy and moderate meals will make their return this week, along with a few walks and some yoga.

thank you all for allowing me this space to ponder, explore, commit, fail and move forward.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

vintage christmas

not sure what happened to that sweet strawberry blonde hair, but that is me, looking curious about why we stood in line all that time for this um...interesting...experience.

today the grown-up version of me does most of my christmas shopping online. way back when we actually piled in the car and drove downtown to brock's department store to shop. our little downtown still had diagonal street parking then. brock's had an elevator with an attendant. I remember the cafe on the mezzanine where you could peek over the edge at the first floor shoppers. I think we only shopped at brock's at christmas and for back-to-school outfits.

I have a vivid memory of walking with my dad on the downtown sidewalks at night, bundled up in my little coat and searching for the perfect gift for my mom. he stopping at the jewelry store, me anticipating a visit to uncle woody's toy circus or see's candy. it's one of those memories that is only about three seconds long, but those three seconds are filled with incredible time-travel-esque sights, sounds, scents, spacial sensation and an incredible feeling of safety and contentment. I love those memories.

happy shopping everyone. make one of those memories for your kids this weekend.

Friday, December 12, 2008

feeling like some french

you know those weeks when life feels a bit assaulting, people are rude, loud and audacious? I'm there. allow me a moment of magical escapism. hmm....I choose paris.

by myself.

with lots and lots of euros.
au revoir mes amis!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

more about those chairs...

cred to ms. rachel over at bling for locating this beauty at apartment therapy. that's what I'm talking about! big bright color on simple midcentury design. love. love. love.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


if there was a talent I wish I had, it is the art of storytelling. one of my favorite film scenes is from out of africa, when karen spins a dramatic tale from one random sentence proffered by her dinner guest. I so desire to have the ability to harness my imagination at whim, pull from the files of quirky characters and exotic locales and deliver a flawless story, keeping my audience enthralled and entranced by the magic.

can you tell a story? do you believe it is a gift or do you think it can be learned?

Monday, December 8, 2008


after a short weekend with krista, laughing and shopping and pretending like we're in paris, it's back to real life. a life that feels a bit fast-forwardy for my preference. I had to take a moment and appreciate this vintage santa in all his 1970's plastic perfection. jolly.

Friday, December 5, 2008

your opinion please (and a giveaway!)


many thanks for your votes and wise advice. big floral/paisley is the big winner in the election (and truly, probably where I'll go with this). stay tuned for more updates on the curious chairs.

lucky number 9 was the winner of the drawing...drumroll please...

traveling.... in huis en erbuiten, email me with your mailing address and I'll get your lovely book to you.

thanks for playing everyone! giveaways are fun...many more to come!


last week I scored six midcentury modern teak chairs for my (casual) dining room. for years I have been searching for a matching set that fell within my budget. I'm overcome with ideas for upholstery and I need your help to narrow down the fabric search:

the first chair is nearly identical to my six (I also have two captains). other photos here show a variety of midcentury designs to give an example of the clean simple lines of the furniture with the five types of fabric/patterns I'm interested in:
  1. leather or vinyl (in black, cream, teal or apple green)
  2. classic tweed or boucle (surprise, I'm liking the multicolor tweed)

  3. geometrics (black & white or that amazing zig-zag)

  4. stripes
  5. big bright floral/paisley

see the poll in the sidebar? please cast your vote*. in addition, if you leave a comment with your selection and/or further thoughts, you will be entered in my very first giveaway. the lucky winner will receive a brand spanking new copy of tricia guild's inspiration. comments are open until 6:00pm est sunday, december 7. you'll need to leave a comment in addition to your vote to be in the giveaway.

*I ask for and value your input because I know that each of you has an exceptional artistic eye and fantastic style. however, my dining room is not a democracy; it is a monarchy and I am the queen. as the queen, I reserve all privilege to rule against the majority.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


should always be filled with beautiful smiling babies, red velvet cake, kaleidoscopes, good wishes, peppermint mochas, bright sunshine, happy flowers, 44 things to look forward to, bubbles, brand new red maryjanes, pu pu platters, a moon with a grin like the cheshire cat and feeling loved.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

forty four

that's a good number.

I've been inspired by lovely ms. hula to create a list of things to do in this year.
  1. enjoy a concert or two {yes!}
  2. rehab the art studio {not even close...}
  3. plant more peonies and dahlias for armloads come summer {accomplished the "more" part, maybe not so much "armloads"...}
  4. inspiration wall {done.}
  5. send gifts for no reason {working on this...}
  6. enter a photo contest
  7. have a dinner party
  8. photograph a baby or a baby bump {oh baby w}
  9. the dressing room {almost there.}
  10. make strawberry cupcakes {I think lemon french macarons meet this criteria nicely.}
  11. see a movie at a drive-in
  12. teach simon a trick {he uses his indoor voice...well, sometimes.}
  13. sit in the sand and be with the ocean
  14. finish the dining room {fini!}
  15. get a photo of the giant woodpecker
  16. make a quilt
  17. explore two american cities
  18. purge and donate {does this ever get completed?}
  19. visit two museums
  20. go to the zoo
  21. see the milky way {fabulously so: lying under a bowl of stars with my cabinmates, squam lake lapping at the pier and loons crying in the distance.}
  22. read three classics
  23. do more yoga {so yes!}
  24. hike crabtree falls
  25. summer backyard party {does one husband and three dogs make a party? I think so.}
  26. ride my bike
  27. buy a piece of art
  28. make a piece of art {lots and lots and lots...}
  29. start/join a book club {did it. love it.}
  30. foreign cinema {some.}
  31. sundays at the flea market {some.}
  32. cook a meal worthy of le creuset {working on this...}
  33. have a picnic
  34. rollerskate
  35. write a poem
  36. travel abroad
  37. teach {loved it but did something even more important: learned.}
  38. belly dance
  39. make paella
  40. meet a new friend {yes!}
  41. reconnect with an old friend {and yes!}
  42. make a valentine for my valentine {oui!}
  43. a yard circled in jasmine and honeysuckle {getting there...}
  44. lighten up {I think so.}

forty four, I'm happy to meet you.

Monday, December 1, 2008

mosaic monday

this one is pure self-indulgence, with a huge measure of magical thinking.
my birthday/christmas wish list:
  1. collecting a rainbow of le creuset; need the perfect blue
  2. intrigued by the juxtaposition of modern cube and romantic pearls
  3. curious girl ♥s lulu
  4. for my little bohemian living room: this mirror
  5. and this pair of funky chairs
  6. very robin hood and his merry men
  7. chocolate truffle, please
  8. charley harper memory cards
  9. perfect paisley
  10. I like looking at other peoples' homes
  11. this tiny treasure
  12. for the art studio
  13. too many electronics in my bag; must consolidate
  14. oh my. pure rainbow stripey goodness
  15. L, please
  16. that’s right, all four of them