Late October showers
bring delicate skeleton flowers.
A ghostly sight
on Halloween night,
they softly glow for hours.
Have a wonderful Halloween weekend! I hope it's full of ghostly sights...
I know the Autumnal Equinox was officially on September 22, but from where I sit Fall took it's sweet time arriving and didn't show up until this past weekend. For the last few weeks we've had the most beautiful, warm summer-like weather (which was wonderful considering our summer was more like an extremely drab Spring) and now I feel like my internal calendar is trying to quickly catch up with reality. I haven't even bought a butternut squash yet and I've failed to take my children to the pumpkin patch (something their schools had the forethought to do already.) So here I am, over a month late, but dedicating this post to pumpkin season with some yummy eye candy!
Integrity Studio via Etsy
For several years now I have been making an effort to curate my own house. I want to enjoy the everyday things that surround me. There are so many things I am constantly touching and interacting with in my at-home world, and it's a tad less of an effort to go about my daily tasks when I enjoy interacting with those small, seemingly insignificant, inanimate objects. So when it was announced that last week would be "Favorite Things" week for my online e-course I was immediately thrilled. I have so many favorite things, and I loved the idea of documenting them and saying what they mean to me. But as I thought about it further I realized that despite the fact that I am surrounded by so many favorite things, there are very few, if any, that I would actually try to save in a fire. Either it's due to the sheer quantity of loved items or possibly the fact that I could replace most of it, but either way it made me sad and I wondered should I have more things I'd want to save from peril? I don't know, but here are some of my favorite things anyway...
My morning wouldn't be complete without a cup of hot coffee, and an ever so soothing cup of tea on a cold afternoon. These are my four favorite mugs~ just looking at them makes the smile~ and I think they make my coffee taste better too. I also love my vintage set of chrome canisters and my Sunbeam toaster (both from the 1950's.) But really, no Autumn morning is complete without a super satisfying pumpkin muffin :)
1~ I started collecting vintage tins a couple years ago. The whole thing started because I had two adorable tins when I was a little girl and have always wanted more (you can see them on the bottom~ far left and third from the left.) The collection just hasn't stopped growing. I do occasionally clear out the ones I don't love so much to make room from the ones I love more.
2~ I love red wine, and drinking out of a fun wine glass makes it that much more enjoyable. The colorful glasses are my favorite from Uncommon Goods, but the little ones say "Ottomisto" above the line and "Pessimisto" below the line which means you must always keep your glass half full :)
3~ These are the vintage suitcases I can't get enough of.
4~ I adored my Strawberry Shortcake lunch pail when I was a kid and it seems the love never wore off~ they just don't make them like this anymore. If anyone out there knows where I can find a She-Ra one, I'll love you forever.
1~ This is my Phrenology bust that holds my favorite everyday necklaces.
2~ These are my three most cherished rings: My great grandmother had the first one made for me after she picked up the stone on her world travels. The second ring (the middle one) has been passed down in my family for six generation~ I was the sixth first-born girl to receive it on my 14th birthday. In about 8 years I will pass it on to my daughter when she turns 14. (There is a wonderful story of this rings history, but it's too long to include here.) The third ring is my wedding ring. We were so poor when we got married that my husband's grandfather let us pick through the rings that were left over from his old jewelry shop. For the longest time I didn't like it, but now it represents so much that I couldn't imagine having any other ring.
3~ The top of my dresser houses an old jewelry box that belonged to my other great grandmother. The photo is of her when she was a toddler.
4~ You can see the photo of my great grandmother much more clearly, plus my ever-growing collection of hand accessories.
I LOVE colors, especially in accent pieces, and these ones are my favorite. My great-grandmother made the three brightly colored needlepoint pillows (top left, top right center pillow, bottom right); the small green one is from a vintage shop; and the two matching red ones are from Pier One. The crewel rug from Anthropologie greets our guests when they walk in the front door.
1~ I found this clock at a garage sale for $1. I painted the frame electric blue and put new hands on it. I LOVE this clock!
2~ This lamp is a thrift store find that I painted red and bought a drum shade for. I later found another fun lamp base that I painted the same color. They now flank our bed with their fun color and warm light.
3~ I bought this poster by Paul Michael Dellostritto about a year ago. It reminds me to live in the moment and enjoy where I am in life.
4~ A small glimpse of the yards and yards of flags I have hanging in our basement---mostly on the ceiling and walls. I made them to brighten up an otherwise dreary play space for the kids, and also for when we make our basement into sleeping quarters for guests.
These are my favorite places, or at least the most frequent places, I spend my time. My reading chair, my desk, and bed. A book is almost always nearby in all three places.
"The Wind and the Sun were disputing which was the stronger. Suddenly they saw a traveller coming down the road, and the Sun said: "I see a way to decide our dispute. Whichever of us can cause that traveller to take off his cloak shall be regarded as the stronger. You begin." So the Sun retired behind a cloud, and the Wind began to blow as hard as it could upon the traveller. But the harder he blew the more closely did the traveller wrap his cloak round him, till at last the Wind had to give up in despair. Then the Sun came out and shone in all his glory upon the
traveller, who soon found it too hot to walk with his cloak on."
Moral: Kindness effects more than severity.
I was thinking the other day about Aesop's Fable, The Wind and the Sun. I think most of the time I approach life like the North Wind, when really I just want to be the Sun. I have friends who are like the Sun and when I'm with them, before I've even realized what's happened, I'm taking off my cloak. I want to approach my life and those around me in the same way. With warmth and love I want to cause others to take off their cloak.
Here's to being the Sun... or trying to be anyway.
I'm not sure why, but Music Monday is a sad one today. I have had all these songs floating through my head for weeks and with the onslaught of rain, rain, and more rain, I guess some level of sadness should be expected. So, because we're all just human and everyone hurts sometimes, here's a tribute to all those sad feelings.
Everybody Hurts by REM
Breath Me by Sia
Happy Monday, sort of.
In 3 weeks I'm leaving for New York. I have never been, but have always wanted to go. My friend Debey is planning to move there so she wanted to do a "fun" trip to check out the city again before moving. We'll only be there for 3 days so I'm going to try my hand at packing light and bring only a carry-on. Which means I have some serious wardrobe planning to do. How does a girl like me, a pathological over-packer, fit three whole days' worth of clothes in a carry-on?? Well, with the help of Mastercard, who promises the memories I make while in NY will be priceless and worth all the over spending, I will be purchasing a few new items for the trip. First I need a decent carry-on that will allow me to push the airline carry-on restrictions without having to skimp on the "essentials."
I think the Gravis Jetway Rolling Bag will do the trick with just the right carry-on dimensions and it's unique design that opens like a book. It's also super durable so it won't start looking crappy after it's first major excursion to the city.
I also need a really good pair of shoes for all the walking we'll be doing, but I don't want to become a cautionary fashion tale in the process. Thus the super stylish KangaROOS' Combat W's in Red. I'm a sucker for retro sneakers that harken back to my childhood, and I LOVE that they still make these with a secret pocket on the side. That way if I get mugged (something that supposedly happens a lot in a big city) I could keep some extra $20's stowed away. That is, unless I end up like Carry Bradshaw and the mugger steals my shoes...
A girl also needs versatile and lightweight layering pieces to stave off the early November air, without turning her into that little brother from A Christmas Story. I think the Eco Fleece from Alternative Apparel has all the desirable qualities a girl like me is looking for in a hoodie. It's super soft interior and roomy, yet flattering, style should keep me lookin' good and feeling warm all without much effort on my part.
And lastly, I need a good backpack for carrying around the city. I want something convertible that can be worn as both a backpack and a messenger, but that isn't too big or heavy, since I'll be weighing it down with my camera and all those trinkets from the street vendors. The Jansport Heritage Heads Up with it's compartmentalized storage and awesome retro style will keep me and all my goodies moving, hopefully with out making me look like an obvious tourist.
I also plan on bringing everyone I know a t-shirt or keychain, or napkin, that says "I Heart NY".
Currently my daughter's school is having a Scholastic Book Fair, and I don't want to be a complete downer when it comes to Scholastic (it's totally important to encourage kids to read), but most of the books they are selling aren't very good. They just seem like a really gross and obvious way advertise whatever movie or cartoon the book is about. The writing is rarely passable in those "movie" books and I just can't bring myself to let them in the house, let alone read them to my 4 and 6 year old. I guess you could call me a "children's book snob," which is totally and completely true. But because of my snobbishness I have found some truly fantastic books for kids; the distinguishing factors usually being great artwork and witty writing, both of which Calef Brown has by the bucket load. Plus I'm always a sucker for nonsense rhymes.
"The Polkabats are on the loose,
a flapping flock of flying fury.
All the spotted bats are out
(except the ones of jury duty).
Loudly screeching nasty words
to scare the birds
while dropping smelly polka-turds
on people down below."
Last week was Reflections week in the e-course I'm taking online. The instructor encouraged us to smile at ourselves whenever we encountered our own reflection, which I found incredibly hard to do. I usually try to avoid looking at my reflection, let alone take the time to really truly look at myself and smile. But the instructor said the most beautiful thing about why this is important:
"I try and remember if I catch my eye to give a little smile, a little acknowledgment because the person I see, that woman, is my ally. A good reminder to not only see her but to remember that she is there, but to give her a bit of consideration because the nicer we are to her, the more she'll be on our side. In other words, we gotta be on our own side."
For this assignment we could take pictures of ourselves in any reflection. It was fun finding where and how I'm reflected in the world. I couldn't help but think of one of my most favorite quotes each time I chose to stop to give my self a little nod of acknowledgement.
" The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours--- it is an amazing journey---and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the first day your life really begins."
I'm off to have coffee with my best friend and ally....
Caia Koopman is by far one of my favorite artists. I'm not sure what else to say - I'm dumbfounded by her work. If I had a single ounce of her talent and creativity I'd probably die under the weight of my own awesomeness. I also totally love that she comes from the same culture of skate and snowboarding that I grew up with, which has a major influence on her work. Caia Koopman, you are one cool chica.
"From the land of surf and sea, Caia Koopman has emerged as one of lowbrow’s preeminent female artists. With a well-rounded background from her years spent obtaining her BA in Fine arts from UC Santa Cruz, to her time spent in the skateboarding and snowboarding scenes, Caia’s environment has both molded and provided an eclectic background that makes her paintings come to life. With her fine detail for beauty, inclinations toward nature, and collectiveness of the female spirit, Caia has quickly become one of the quintessential artists fully encompassing the elegance, strengths, and vulnerabilities of femininity.
Her work is alluring and has a hint of whimsy. It delves into the fascination of women, in both our conscious and subconscious ideals of the feminine role in society. Caia consistently submerses herself in subject that matter that is ingrained and full of cultural connotations. Caia’s work is infused with a variety of cultural, political, environmental, sociological, and dreamscape references. Her influences serve as an amalgamation bringing her world to life through deliberate references and reverent imagery, with the finished work deriving strength and beauty from the artist herself. Her playfulness in her brush strokes is a constant struggle with the reality and solidity of the paint itself which comes across in her work as complimentary forces bringing together a gorgeous and powerful masterpiece."
Oh, and Caia, when I finally get around to writing a children's book, you're going to be the illustrator. FYI.
I can't get enough of the fact that is has been so incredibly, awesome-ly sunny for over a week! It was freezing this morning, but I really don't care because the sun is awesome. Let me just say that again: AWESOME. So this Music Monday tribute goes out to none other than my favorite ball of fire.
Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden
All Apologies by Nirvana
Blister in the Sun by Violent Femmes
OK, so maybe these songs aren't exactly about the sun and they're not exactly cheerful, but they were way too awesome, yes AWESOME, to use anything else.