Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Beautiful frustration

Is there anything more beautiful or more frustrating than the Sköna Hem site? Ahhh, the gorgeousness! ARRRGH, the Swedishness. If anyone knows of a hidden "view in English" button, please tell me where to find it. For now, I just have to imagine where this incredible house might be, who the lovely folks are who live there, and how they came upon such a perfect amalgamation of modern simplicity and comfort.

all images via Sköna Hem

Monday, March 30, 2009


I just stumbled on these lovely diptychs over at ffffound!--they're perfect for this soggy, foggy day. I love the softness, the muted tones, the quietness of the outside world enveloped and made small. So gorgeous and evocative, by Polish photographer Magdelena Kmiecik.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Is there anything better than gathering a giant stack of debris and setting it aflame? Hmmm, maybe only doing it legally, calling the Fire Dept and saying "yeah, so I'm going to set a pile of dead trees ablaze today, just an fyi." And they say "great, just have it out by 4pm!" aaaaahhh, country life. It just doesn't get any stranger than this.

I set the pile up in front of the old town fire engine control panel out back. My dad and I found it a few years ago at the dump--clearly, it had to come home with us. This was the first burn my mom and I attempted without him. I went to Ashfield Hardware for some kerosene. Nancy handed me an old Powerade bottle with KEROSENE scrawled across the label in sharpie. It was left over from the ice storm power outage, she said.

We put all our hoses together and ran them down the hillside and started the blaze. Good times! My mom singed off her eyelashes and I burnt a hole in my shirt. But there's nothing more satisfying than totally annihilating a pile of debris. Success!

PS: this just in--after 7 hours outside today in the (totally non-scorching) 48 º F sun, I am now the proud owner of a March sunburn (farmer-tan-style, all face and 1/2 neck and forearms). Boooo-ya! Of course, it could be a combo *actual* burn + sunburn....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Color me baffled

These pretty spring sandals? From Clarks. I know, right? These are Indigo by Clarks. The rest of the Clarks line is predictably ugly and nun-friendly, but there are a few designs that surprised the poo out of me.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Made by Hank

When Katie from Made by Hank was the featured seller on Etsy a couple weeks ago, it didn't take me long to *neeeeeed* one of her sweet "Tough Ruffles" purses. The only question was, what color combo should I get? I debated for days (seriously!) and finally settled on a gorgeous navy combo.
But when the package arrived, I knew I had to stop and document it. From the sewn detail on the manilla envelope to the personalized cards, it was just the kind of thoughtful packaging I've come to associate with the best handmade artisans. And the purse is just painfully ADORBS.

If you want a peek at my own packaging and its evolution, visit me over at Heart Handmade today for my Making It guest column. If you have your own personal packaging love stories, or does and don'ts, I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Look what I just found, outside. LOOk!!! (yes, I'm shouting at you, my poor, unsuspecting blog readers, but I'm so. excited.) DAFFODIL NUBBINS!!! Coming out of the ground!!!

Now that you've jumped up and down with me, I have to apologize for what is clearly the ugliest photo I've ever posted here, a photo only a daffodil-nubbin's mother could love.

So here, a palette cleanser, some pix from a lovely book I bought today: Designer Plant Combinations by Scott Calhoun. The name is totally 80s, but the book offers some gorgeous combinations (always a challenge for me--finding plants that go well together, not only in color but in habit, height, etc) that I'm just itching to get out there and work with.

The first photo is by me (duh, it blows), the second is Charles Mann, and the third and fourth are Scott Calhoun.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Bright Side

Oh man, I'm so excited today. Like, running around, heart-a-thumpin', smiling-like-a-jackass excited.

I'm the guest designer over at The Bright Side Project today!! In case you haven't heard about it (or didn't see it on Daily Candy), in words of the lovely Tristan, whose baby the BSP is:

The Bright Side Project is here to bring you a little metaphorical sunshine every day, to help you stop for a second and remember life is (still) beautiful and there is goodness in the world. The Bright Side Project Part II is dedicated to YOU. This time around we are featuring the work of accessory designers, because there's nothing like a lil' somethin' somethin' to brighten one’s day. All you have to do for a chance to win is answer the designer’s question in the comment section. Easy-peasy! I do hope you play along each day, as your answers make my days brighter and we all need a little reminder to look on the bright side...

So quick, get on over there today and enter to win one of the fabulous Clementine goodies pictured above. And I hope it really does bring a little sunshine to the winner's day. :) YYYYYEAAAAAHHH (she squealed in total Howard Dean mode)!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Extensive Mildew on the Face of a Recluse

...that pretty much sums up the title of the coronor's report that would be filed on me were I to die here in my home. (it's from David Sedaris, When You Are Engulfed in Flames--but you knew that cuz you read it last year, I bet)

So, in what seems to be a theme here, the weather sucked yesterday so I decided to venture past the end of the driveway and ended up at the bulb show at Smith College. Now, when I was 18, there was no way I was going to go to a college that was a) all women b) 30 mins from home and c) a place where my father taught some classes. But man, what a frickin endowment they have! The conservatory is just gorgeous. And the smell! It's all humid and peat-y and lovely, in so far as it doesn't smell like winter in there.

So here's what it looked like outside:

And here's inside (I have no idea who those two folks are, but I love that they're now smiling on my blog):

Oh, and just as an added little kick, there were crocuses popping up all around the pond above. I think I'm a good 20 days from seeing any bulbs pop up around here. *le sigh*

P.S. While I was in Northampton, I went to a salon got my hair did. Holla! And then I made an appointment with the same guy to do some highlights in a couple of weeks. My mom nearly fainted with delight when I told her.

Monday, March 09, 2009


Arg, the snow and ice are back. After a glorious weekend of 50 degree days and melty melty goodness, it's a smorgasbord of winter weather (sleet! freezing rain! snow!) today.

And so I'm self-medicating with bright, cheerful interiors from ffffound! and LivingEtc. Warning! do not start surfing these sites unless you want to lose a few hours.

First two photos from LivingEtc, third by Hulting Arkitekter via Remodelista, fourth from emmas designblogg, fifth and sixth via Design*Sponge

Friday, March 06, 2009

one day a year

1. Ski training in Siberia, Russia - 80s, 2. Ice skiing, 3. Owani Ski Jo. Japan, 4. Skiing Big White, 5. Evening on skis, 6. Ski de fond, 7. Skiing On The Slopes, 8. N is for Night Skiing, 9. skiing at the end of the world

that's about as much as I get to go skiing. In the last few years, we've picked the best days—sunny, warm, perfect conditions. Berkshire East was nearly empty, and it was a special Mass residents day— $15 lift ticket. How can you beat that? Of course, I forgot my camera, but Mary didn't. Here's us below--minus Rob, who skied off before we got the camera out (me on L, Mary on R)

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Savannah, GA

Get ready to waste a ton of time here. It's a Japanese site that "antiques" your photos in a really authentic way. Click at the top right hand side of the page to switch to English. Then just browse your hard drive and upload. So fun to play around. There goes an hour! Found via Jenna from Whimsy and Spice's blog, Sweet Fine Day.

Look, old-timey skiiers!

and the originals: