Wednesday, March 30, 2011

sing for your supper

Last night I enjoyed watching one of my all time favorite bands,  Over the Rhine at a night show at World Cafe Live.  It was the perfect mix of the joys and sorrows of real life.  Sung by a slinky soulful voice overlapped with ever illusive sounds of the clicking, clacking, beating, thumping, key tapping, string plucking band, it's obvious they love what they do.  They're made up a a long-lasting husband and wife team, partners in crime as they like to call themselves and their small group of young, yet extremely talented musicians.  Sitting at a candle-lit table, listening to Karin's smokey voice full of a thousand layers was exactly what I wanted.  If feels good to be completely content in that place when you know you're doing just what you should be at just the right moment.  Dinner there was nothing to speak of, but it matters not when surrounded by good company and wonderful music.  I don't know how many other contented faces I saw there,  but it seemed we were each in our own little worlds while they played, including the band members themselves.  If you haven't heard them yet, they're worth a listen and a detour during the daily computer induced hazy-eyed happenings.  One never needs a good excuse to be inspired and to let your thoughts ride along the hills and valleys and heart stirring beats of some really good music :)  The new album, The Long Surrender, also features a guest appearance by Lucinda Williams if any of you are fans.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

out with the old...

It's a lovely Sunday here, the kind were we are all together in one place, including Howie B :)  Keira Belle got a new handmade quilt from her Grandma Sue and it's already a favorite.  She's talking up a storm today and obviously enjoying the day as much as I am.  Now if only the weather was warm and toasty like this time last week...that would really be just wonderful.  I'm getting antsy for a spring bonfire because it's just about time for one when we gather 'round and set the dead old Christmas tree aflame.  That's quite a sight.  Also...this seems like the perfect time for a little spring cleaning out and rearranging.  I've just noticed that our holiday wreath still hangs on the siding outside the back door.  All this time I've become so used to it that I don't even register it's presence anymore.  But I do believe it's time to retire the old thing.  Out with the old, in with the new.  My clothes closet could also use a bit of  paring down as well.  Who's with me?  Anyone up for passing along a bag full of unworn clothes to another loving owner's delight?  The Goodwill always takes donations :)

this was made entirely by hand...and never even touched a sewing machine if you can believe it


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

yet left or right?

It appears that Keira cannot decide if she is yet left or right handed.  She does a wonderful job with both, but usually her left hand grip looks much more natural...guess we'll have to wait and find out :)  I'm loving watcher her as she carries around a small rainbow of crayons and her notepad.  Surprisingly, she chose the purple one and I wonder if she is subconsciously being persuaded by the fact that she's dressed like an Easter egg (that's what a woman in the store told me anyway) .  Mostly, she likes to plop down almost right on Oliver and place her paper on top of his fluffy pillowy self and proceed to work there.  The funny thing is...he doesn't seem to mind too much most days.  It's all very sweet.  And then there's Savy, keeping his distance hiding in the blanket hutch because he knows when he's in there...she can only get so close.  What would I be without my Keira and my Cats for entertainment?

Monday, March 21, 2011

rainy day morning

It's wet and damp outside, but I kind of like it.  The recently raked-of-all-twigs yard is getting a nice, cool drink of all this water and is turning back to that summery green I look forward to all year.  Not that I need one, but this gray day is giving me a perfect excuse to light up the wood stove again and sip slowly from my toasty mug.  The sound of the tires on the wet road as the cars drive by is like a comforting fuzz in the background, so this is one day I'm not bothered that our house is a bit close to the road.  It's calm here and life seems to move more slowly today than others, which I love.  If I could I would prefer to add at least 3 more hours of light to the day.  Imagine what accomplishments could come from an extra three hours :)  More fun work, a tidier house, time for a nap, a better tended garden, a nice long run with my bouncy sneakers and music in my head, and more well-prepared dinners that savor of the heart and soul put into the making, possible only with more time.  If only...But in the meantime, I'll have to settle with staying up entirely too late, rarely sitting down during the day, and a mind full of over-anxious ideas waiting to come to fruition :)  That's okay too, it adds excitement to life when the goal many fun things can I squeeze into one day? 

Just a couple pictures from adventures of a not-so-rainy day...a couple days ago.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

simply sweet

Today it was mid 60's.  A little spring preview "they" say.  Keira and I spent the afternoon at Tyler Park with a good friend Lauren who is one half of the wonderful photography duo, morrisseyphoto.  What a nice day it was too.  So warm I wore a short sleeved T and didn't even bring a sweatshirt :)  We walked the long and windy path through the shadowy woods, mini dogs, speed-walking couples, and baby strollers.  Lauren wore her sweet Quinn in a little baby carrier on her person.  Keira just had the time of her life in her Kelty Kids Backpack slung over my shoulders.  Those of you with kids...this is the most awesome thing.  Throw your "baggage" (a.k.a. "sweet little one") in the pack on your back and take off....

Hooray for the warm weather.  Why, oh why, do I live on the northern East Coast when I adore the sun so much???

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

beads and a party

 Look at this.  I love how the crystal water beads stay behind after a rainy day.  So pretty and makes everything feel so fresh and alive.  Today is pretty quiet, thankfully.  After a whirlwind couple days of orders, I've shipped the last out into the world this morning.  I'm catching up on some much needed house-tidying.  The destruction I leave behind when I'm knee deep in projects is almost as bad as a tornado :)  I'll also be playing nurse today to my sister who just got some wisdom teeth extracted.  Not pleasant for her...but I'm happy to have her resting on the freshly "made up like a bed" couch and attending to her every need.  We decided she should get a little bell to ring me over whenever she's wanting :)  It's fun having her around for a couple long days after living in separate households for so many years.  It's like winter camp, or vacation, or a party or something.  Tonight, since I'm obviously obsessed with working...I'll be starting some new work that I've been pondering over all day.  And I'm looking forward to making mashed potatoes since swollen mouths cannot eat solid foods.  Today is lovely :)  How's yours going?

Friday, March 11, 2011

up to my ears

This week and today especially...I'm up to my ears in custom special orders, which is great!!!  Good thing I still have my eyes to see what I'm doing :)  Sometimes it feels like my mind runs rampant and I am consumed with too much thinking, if there is such a thing.  I find there's no better distraction than work.  It's calming and therapeutic to be swallowed up by new ideas, plans, and other perspectives.  A big crystal Mediterranean blue wave washes through me and swirls around my worries, getting rid of the old loose thoughts and replacing them with new, fresh, and clean ones.  It's kind of like what happens in the dishwasher.

These particular orders I'm working on involve paper and more paper.  And...that is also something I love.  Plain.  Simple.  Sometimes it's so pretty, I almost don't even want to use it up.  But then I remember...that would be such a waste for beautiful things to be held captive in the dark depths of a closet or a drawer.  Much like people, I think.  We might as well get out there and share our colors and make a footprint in the world.


Some photos of Howie B and I on our travels...I use these as samples for my Mini Albums, but these are some of my favorite pics from over the years:  
 Parc del Laberint d'Horta (Labyrinth Park) in Barcelona with perfectly trimmed maze hedges and swans floating under the weathered stone bridge, Allasio Italy with it's millions of steps down the footpath to the sea, and Sifting through the long stretch of a pebbly beach to find the smoothest stones and sea glass washed in by the Mediterranean.


Is there ever anything you want so bad, but just can't seem to get?  I feel that way today.  Most of the time, I don't expect much, but today...I was just hoping for more.  Maybe someday, with a lot of praying and hoping and wanting and working, I will get what I've been looking forward to for so long.  If you've ever felt this way, you know that the best option is just to...keep on truckin'.  I hope all the best for you too and I think we should all keep dreaming until that dream is a quite alive and real!

“May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams. May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays.”
I can't figure who said this, but I like it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I'm off to my weekly Tuesday dinner at my Poppy's house but I just wanted to leave you with this to remember: Spring is coming soon!  The days are growing longer and longer, a sure sign.  And the birds are out twittering to one another, telling long and exciting stories that are a secret to me.  The squirrel is carefully balanced on the fence, munching away on a stray nut he found in the yard.  I am watching the first buds on the trees become more and more confident to show their colors everyday. is quite warm, I don't even need a jacket :)  Very soon, my friends.

Monday, March 7, 2011

color me happy

“Color possesses me. I don't have to pursue it. It will possess me always, I know it. That is the meaning of this happy hour: Color and I are one. I am a painter.”

-Paul Klee

I find myself surrounded by color today.  That's a good thing, because Monday's could use a little color in my opinion.  Just to start the week off right, you know.  Sunday night seems like the last hurrah, the end of the weekend fun before the beginning of "real" life with bills and errands and work.  So, a couple cheery things for the day...the crocs came out of hiding today and I shelved my usual, uggs.  Four new stain colors to make fresh and fun glazes.  Aren't they lovely?  I'm excited about that :)  Eggs for breakfast and Whopper mini Robin Eggs for desert :)  A piping hot wood stove.  And Howie's birthday balloons.  Hope you can find a couple more things to make you smile today.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Some recent happenings...Pancakes for breakfast.  Always a good idea.  And also, a trip to the book shop that included all kinds of goodies.  One is the new Amos Lee album, Mission Bell.  It's really great.  Another is a book written by Sara Gruen that's been around for a while, but I'm just now getting to it...Water for Elephants.  Has anyone read it?  It's always an exciting day when I start a new book.  I just love them.  The feel of the crisp, thin pages.  The smell of the paper.  The world I live in when I read.  All of it :)  The book store is one of my all time favorite places to be.  And then there was last night's Fun Friday homemade dinner with sliced plum tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella drizzled with olive oil, italian spices, and basil.  That was just the beginning.  Following that appetizer special was linguine and tomato baked chicken with bits of melted cheese, basil, and asparagus.  Delicious.

one of my faves, i read it every year

And I saw this on my way home.  Don't you love the sky before a storm?...always a thing to behold.
 Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

all wrapped up & happy {howie's birthday}

This is Howie on our cross country trip out west 9 years ago.  In this particular photo, we were visiting a friend at White Tail Ranch in Montana and helping with some work for WTR Outfitters.  After bailing hay all day and loading up the pack mules, we rode our horses into the Bob Marshall Wilderness.  Along craggy cliff trails we rode a 1/2 day in, winding our way through the quiet wilderness to drop off the supplies at camp.  And then...rode 1/2 a day back home.  It was the best day and full of more adventures than I could have hoped!!

Today is another best day...Howie B's Birthday!!  I met him 10 years ago, almost to the day.  He was my favorite then and still is now.  I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell all you girls this, but...I got the best one :)  I'll see him a little later for some birthday celebrating and present unveiling.  If you don't know this about me already...I love wrapping packages.  It might be one of my favorite things:)  Soft matte paper in naturals.  Raffia rolls in earth tones.  Twine.  Gift Tags.  Cinnamon Sticks.  I can't get enough of those goodies!

I won't tell you what's in these yet...just in case he's able to read this before this afternoon.

My Etsy orders are just as much fun to send, too :)
Well, Happy Birthday to Howie.  My best friend and my Love.  Keira got some new shoes for his birthday which she chose to wear over her jammies this morning.  It's customary in our house to share the Love on birthdays, so usually everyone else gets one present too :)  And also, the birthday celebrator wakes up to a present next to their pillow, just waiting to be unwrapped.  That's especially exciting when you're a kid!  Any birthday traditions in your house?

Can you believe they make Converse Chucks this tiny?! 

And a Happy Wednesday to all the rest of us who aren't celebrating birthdays today!!