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.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

milling about

most saturday mornings you will find me in the kitchen drinking coffee and stirring irish oatmeal as it slowly cooks. yesterday the light was so beautiful streaming through the kitchen window, I snapped a few scenes of my cooking and dining area.

it's funny that you can become so familiar with your surroundings that they almost become invisible. while processing the images, I was pleasantly surprised to see the depth and variety of colors and shapes; that our home is coming together to truly represent who we are.

even the mix of color above the stovetop is so me. curious if I unconsciously choose paprika that will add a design element to the spice shelf...

{ processing images also makes you realize that your wood floors are in need of a really good cleaning.}

in other news:
  • gratitude week helped me truly understand the depth of beauty and love in my life. I am grateful for gratitude. at the end the week, I realized that I could go on and on and on. I'll pick up a gratitude week every so often on the blog and hope you will join me. my heart feels full.
  • my man gives good date: yesterday post-oatmeal, we strolled vintage shops {scored a polaroid camera for $9}, saw an education {brilliant!} and dined on mole poblano and cheap mexican beer. more reasons to love him.
  • being introduced to a photographer whose work literally makes my heart beat faster.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

grateful for

  • a true partner who is solidly on my team
  • the calm center in the middle of the storm that is me
  • a man more interested in theatre, literature, photography and art than noisy violent sports
  • the voice that reads to me in bed at night
  • being kissed goodnight even though I've already fallen asleep
  • personality characteristics like my dad {those I admire and none that would creep me out}
  • always bringing a book to read when we go to anthropologie and sitting patiently while I shop
  • being smarter than me and never making me feel like it
  • hands that can build and create
  • hands that can instantly ground me when gently placed at the small of my back
  • just as much love for my darker side

Friday, November 27, 2009

grateful for

  • my muppet luca
  • and simon
  • and roxy
  • and milo, who I miss every day
  • for sam, my first canine love
  • and for every dog that has ever been a friend to me
  • for being uncomplicated friends, just there to elicit a smile or laugh or hug
  • for being court jesters
  • for your naughtiness and shenanigans
  • for standing by
  • for nudging me awake via a cold wet nose pressed against my cheek

Thursday, November 26, 2009

grateful for

  • farmers, growers, merchants and cooks who celebrate organic local food
  • food that nourishes, that makes my body strong and my skin glow
  • food that doesn't poison children
  • never having to go to bed hungry
  • food that transports me {to another land or another time}
  • the art and craft of creating a meal
  • and especially for avocados, fish tacos, steak au poivre, tortilla soup

happy thanksgiving friends! feast away!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

grateful for

  • the strength, beauty and discipline of yoga
  • my teacher nancy {shown here} who has this lovely way about her: all full of humor, grace, muscle and prayer at the same time
  • every other yoga teacher in the world: your work is a blessing
  • the challenge of moving from plank to chaturanga; every time it rolls around, I say to myself, "what the eff are you thinking?!"...and then when I do it {just do it!}, there is this immense feeling of accomplishment and power and possibility that just blows me away
  • practicing in a beautiful old georgian mansion
  • savasana

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

grateful for

  • a home that is safe and warm
  • that is totally accepting of my incessant need to experiment and change things up {like a little brother that gets dolled up in girls' frocks}
  • that carries the juxtaposition of bold color and comfort so well
  • that holds the scents of my life...fig, balsam, honey, coffee...
  • that speaks to me via creaky wood floors and the various soft hums of its many mechanisms
  • that seems to want to be just what I want it to be: an artist's house, a place to nurture a soul

Monday, November 23, 2009

gratitude week*

grateful for
  • a good education
  • the love of learning
  • the craft of exploration
  • a beautiful open mind.

{*a week of things to be thankful for.}

Saturday, November 21, 2009


{and glow.}

Friday, November 20, 2009

dear third week of november

thank you for your light, muted and misty and swirling with the alchemy of chimney smoke and leftover rain. thank you for your softness, your opening, for giving a flighty girl a safe place to land.

Monday, November 16, 2009

dear monday

let's try and behave a bit more like sunday, shall we?

Sunday, November 15, 2009


saturday afternoon I was patiently taught the art of making the french macaron at one of my favorite places in the world. while I have to admit I signed up for the photo ops, I now understand the love affair that so many have with this little jewel. I am so not a baker {the necessary preciseness makes me crazy} and macarons are about as far as you can travel from my slice-and-bake cookie philosophy, but I sit here this morning utterly seduced. and committed to creating them again and again.

I realize that the quirky macaron is very much like the kind of people I'm drawn to: colorful, unique, engaging of the senses and capable of igniting flashes of imagination. its sugary-almond {-lemon, -chocolate, -raspberry, -violet, -pistachio....} scent pulls me in; its bite is both crackly eggshell fragile and gooey soft at once. and oh. my. stars. the taste. {somehow I imagined the taste would be a disappointment...I mean really, how can one little cookie deliver on all fronts?} the taste is unbelievably delicious and instantly transformative {see me: standing alone in saint-germain-des-prés having l'expérience française total}. I am in love.

thank you kathleen for introducing us, for teaching me, for your humor and energy and encouragement and bottles of wine and celebration of even the wonky lemon macaron.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

...insomnia... easier with a beautiful dream world of images to wander through...

{please visit here for flickr credits.}

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

t is for tea

lately I find that I'm sipping as much {and sometimes more} tea as coffee. here's a weird emotional association: coffee makes me feel like a badass; tea makes me feel like a hippie. not sure where those connections came from but clearly the hippie vibe is mine.

Monday, November 9, 2009

mosaic monday

feeling all wishy over's my linky bday/holiday list for 2009.
  1. peace slippers
  2. double gorgeousness
  3. love this baby {like a more sophisticated love's baby soft}
  4. modern classics; the entire penguin collection of cloth-covered stories designed by coralie bickford-smith
  5. fuji instant photos
  6. a yoga mat with one of my photos printed on it! {I'm thinking tiny b...}
  7. this beauty belongs with me
  8. on the bigger list this year: a yoga class with seane corn
  9. and this is so me

here's to wishes coming true, loves. happy monday!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

more happy

it's the little things:
  • the fifth straight day of crisp brilliant sunshine
  • being set loose in the most beautiful shop to photograph its complete and total loveliness
  • playing with the images {am now crushing on design}
  • honeycrisp apples with almond butter
  • the scent of burning leaves
  • man shops globe