Sticks and Bricks -- one of my most favorite shops.
Reasons why I love it:
1. It is the most perfect blend of beauty and function
2. It was clearly built for someone with a 9-5 desk job. Oh, the back support!
3. It rolls
4. The orange and turquoise floral fabric makes my heart flutter.
5. Sometimes, when I shift my weight it tips back and surprises me. I get a little adrenaline spike.
Last Friday, I was in the midst of making soup for my stuffy nosed Mouse, doing pockets of work, and straightening the house when I finally decided to do something with the handful of shells I collected when I was on Martha's Vineyard. Both Chick and I are treasure collectors when we are at the beach, and by the end of the summer I am left with tiny distinct piles of tiny treasures from all of our adventures at the shore. Sometimes, I choose to keep just a few to add to our display on a shelf or I dump a handful into our Anchor Hocking shell jar.
Occasionally, though, I've collected a handful of shells, which need to be kept together in their little shell family. Like, this time, on the Vineyard, when I collected small eroded pieces of quahog shells, and my friend Maddie told me that those were wampum. I had remembered learning about wampum as a kid. Native Americans used the inner, twisty part of the quahog shell to make beautiful purple beads, and when the colonialists found out that Native Americans valued them, they began collecting any and all bits of quahog to use as form of currency with the Native Americans. As I was collecting wampum and also thinking of my family far away in New York cleaning out the last bits of my grandparent's home, I couldn't help but think about the value of things, and how it is so liberating to love what we love because we want to. And, not because we are told to.
On Friday, I decided that I didn't want to toss my precious wampum and other little Martha's Vineyard treasures into the big jar with the rest of my shells. But, I also didn't want the dang pile sitting on my counter any longer. I had been cleaning around it for the past two weeks, and they really needed a home. So, in a quick, crafty moment, I transformed two tiny jars into two colorful, simple display containers for some my beach treasures and also a little lonely collection of marbles.
I cleaned and dried the lids, and then used two coats of acrylic paint. By simply coating the jar's lids with color, my new display feels purposeful and complete, and now both collections have a home.
This is a nice way to give a home to tiny little collections of things that you wish to display. Plus, you get to eat marinated artichokes and diced pimientos! Bonus!
On the first day, the children used writing prompts to get their creativity flowing, and then did distinct shape collage on the front of their journals. Each person chose a simple shape (could be recognizable or free form), sketched it in pencil, traced it in Sharpie, and then used scissors, glue, and collage materials to fill in the shapes. Some of the kids found it hard to choose a shape, but once they did, there was quiet, light energy as they cut and pieced paper inside the lines.
I am bursting.
Aren't these colors great? I love how colonial homes used such deep, vibrant colors inside their homes. These shots were from our trip to Old Sturbridge Village in early September.
Remember I promised some lists in the coming days?
Things that have been inspiring me:
antique wall paper
sparse line drawings with dabs of color
the colors (specifically the pinks) on the new J.CREW catalog cover
the golden raspberries in our yard
each of my workshop students
individual squares of brown kraft paper (oh! the possibilities)
my new comfortable desk chair, which was bought at the magnificent Sticks and Bricks with my
sleuthy partner (photos to come)
my Nanny's gold brooches (some with pearls, some without)
my new grayish, purple cords (ankle length! and found thrifting)
bright, morning walks to school (and also wet, rainy walks to school)
I visited Martha's Vineyard last weekend with dear friends. The island, with its twisty roads, stone walls, and long stretches of sand, was charming and breathtaking, and it made me feel like I was far, far away.
Little signs of autumn dotted the trails and roads.
The sand was golden yellow and the ocean a deep sediment blue green.
Wild grape foraging and seed spitting.
Thank you to my dear friends for such a beautiful trip.
1. workshop planning
2. need more pie
3. searching for a new place to store my sweaters. suggestions?
4. book deadlines
5. tres chicas (just unearthed the cd under a pile)
6. yellow sand
7. harvesting our sunflower seeds (must I wait until the backs turn yellow?)
8. a vintage typewriter found in my grandparents' basement
9. tag sale on saturday. kind of strange that I am feeling excited to spend an afternoon this week in the barn tagging things.
The past few weeks and the next month will be filled with lots of book deadlines, which means I won't be able post here as regularly as I'd like to. Just yesterday, I found out that my friend Emily has a lovely blog where she likes to write lists of things. It reminded me how much I love to write in list form, and I suddenly decided that I want to write lots of little lists in the coming days. It will be a nice way to create in this space in the midst of all of my book writing and crafting. I'll post some photos and write some lists and maybe you'll write some lists too? I'd love that. The Wednesday Treasured feature will probably be on hold until the end of the month.
Okay, good. I feel better now.
The children start school next week, and we've spent this week -- our last full one of the summer -- doing regular things. The moments I end up remembering and loving most about summer are found in the slow trips around town, the quiet afternoons at the town pool, picking vegetables at our farm, listening to chatter of the girls and their friends playing in the woods next to our house, picnics at the park. The endless togetherness is what makes summertime feel so important. Throw in a bunch of adventures and road trips, and I've been a happy clam.