c h a i r

This is my new desk chair, bought on a whim while window shopping at 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.

jars + color


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!

xo e

workshopping !

 
These are photographs from Thursday's Creative Journaling workshop.  During each workshop, the children will learn a new artistic technique and also work on an experimental writing exercise.  During the eight weeks, we will practice lots of different, unique writing styles, and by doing so, the hope is that everyone learns what kind of journal writing feels most personally inspiring.  As we move toward the end of the eight weeks, we'll work towards connecting our writing with our art, so that the two naturally exist together.
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.
They are not fully complete, but I love that in just one hour and fifteen minutes, I was able to see that each child's journal connected nicely with bits of their personalities. 
This is my speech bubble.  It pretty much sums up how I'm feeling about teaching my workshops.
I am bursting. 

ox e

color and a list


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)
soup greens
red lentils
my new grayish, purple cords (ankle length! and found thrifting)
bright, morning walks to school (and also wet, rainy walks to school)
popcorn

xo e

ashore

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.
Big boat sky.

Thank you to my dear friends for such a beautiful trip.
xo e

the other side

On my mind
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.

xo e

chalk

Just when I thought the end of summer would slip seamlessly into the busier days of September, I noticed one of my daughter's bathing suits hanging on a doorknob, and I felt a pang.  This is the summer where Chick learned to swim, where neighborhood walks and bike riding was the rule, where we ate breakfast at 10 and dinner at 7.  The days felt warm and slow.  And, so, I am preparing myself for a bit of sadness at saying goodbye. 

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.
Yesterday, my two were knee deep (literally) in sidewalk chalk.  They used a bucket of water to create sidewalk chalk paint and sidewalk chalk "mud,"  which made the colors dense, thick, and vibrant.  I watched them smile as they lathered it on their hands and packed it down with their feet.  Afterwards,  their bodies were rainbow tie-dyed, so they went from the outside right into the shower.  How summery is that?
Whether you are bound for a late summer adventure or just simply appreciating the quiet harmony of togetherness at home, enjoy your end of summer days.


xo e