Monday, September 30, 2013

I only took a couple days off from blogging last week but it felt like much longer! Though I am glad I did it and I am glad to be back. I wanted to take some time off for a few reasons one of those was my grandfathers service was last Thursday. It was really lovely, but as things like this go, it was emotional. Part of it was (here's the dear diary part) the fact that my biological father was there whom I have only met once in the last 36 years (last time i was 32 - he didn't see his family for about that many years either). I tried really hard not to think about him being there before the service, but in the back of my mind I was dreading this encounter and I knew if he approached me, if we talked, if he wanted to meet my kids, it would all hang on me and I knew I'd need some time to shake that off. I guess I should note, however nice he may be now, I just have no interest in him. He was the epitome of an absent parent: no phone calls, cards, or child support. He's been wanting to 'reconnect' since he moved back here from the east coast 5 years ago, and I don't, so I knew it would be uncomfortable, and, well, yep, it was. But other than that little personal side note it was an absolutely lovely event. My grandfather even had several former students come and a couple of them who spoke about how he was, and still is, the most influential person they have ever met and how he directly impacted the course of their lives. I can't begin say how wonderful it was to hear their stories.

My cold was not the best of timing (they never are) but after taking Friday to just give into it I moved along despite it. I went to a local sewing school for some "rehab"time on Saturday, which was lovely. It's so nice to work along side people. I forget how important that is sometimes (note to self). And after that, feeling all inspired and such, I finally finished sewing up the fabric for pillows that I have been working on in some form or another for the last year. It feels really good to have gotten that done. And I have more fabric I designed coming in the mail this week, hopefully I won't take so long this time. I also tried to get some prints made that I have also been working on for awhile (not nearly as long) but I need to find a different printing place and if I find one soon, I may even get this done in a timely matter.

All weekend it was brilliantly stormy. The top photos are from before the storm rolled in and we had a lovely show of big fluffy clouds in a colorful sky. The bottom photos are from the storm and aftermath. We had huge wind gusts and inches of rain and the city is filled with tree limbs and leaves. I love a good storm but I am hoping there's an end in sight from all this rain. It's seeming relentless. But at least I got to wear my new ankle boots before the rain started. How was your last weekend of September?

Mini Break

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy Wednesday! I know probably not worth the exclamation point, but I am excitedly taking a mini vacation the rest of the week from posting (I will still be checking out your blogs - I'm an addict & I have a little catching up to do!). I just need a little break from mine - from writing and searching online and editing photos and saving images and looking for things I wish I had, or places I wished I lived. It's what I love to do but it's been awhile since I have taken a little r&r from it and the time has come. Also I am feeling inspired to get a few other things done offline and the need to catch up on some boring things like housework - maybe someday there will be a way to pin images over your actual living spaces, but until then I need to clean and arrange mine. That it's-a-new-season sort of thing. So I will see you back here on Monday. Until then you can peruse these little internet treasures if you are so inclined or you are at work stuck in a cubicle (which always makes everything online look more interesting).

To watch: This was too cute. And while we have been on the subject of b+w's this week this video is as amazing as it is lovely.

To look at: I think this is such a lovely project and if you have ever had a baby it's worth checking out.

To wish for: Now that fall is here and it's gettin' chilly I really want one of these.

To read: If you ever shop at whole foods you may relate to this; and there's this I can say that I am guilty of #5, #6, #15 and #16, but I am not going to apologize for it because then I would also be guilty of #1 (I also won't apologize for two huffpost links either, but i want to). Have a good week/end!

Fall Wear

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

1 | 2 | 3 | 4
. . . and the rain, rain, rain, came down, down, down . . . so the fall weather has officially arrived here in Portland - that means fall has started for everyone in the blogosphere, right? I know it's not so you Australians, Floridians, Southern Californians and Texans. But you all can pretend here for a minute that it's true. I have started pulling out my overcoats, sweaters and scarves which inevitably made me want to by new overcoats, sweaters and scarves - especially that pendleton number on the bottom left - it's from their Portland Collection, so I should have it, right? Right. In fact they are having a pin it to win it contest - which I immediately entered because I am pretty sure I have been obsessed with pendleton since i could see. (basically you repin their pins, which I would pin anyway; and i found out about after i already planned on blogging about this pretty cardi, and then you can win gift cards. easy. and done.)

p.s. I hate to admit it but I had no intention of inspiring anyone when I wrote about this yesterday. But so exciting that it did! I hope to see some of your black and whites on your blogs soon. xo

Photo Diary | Black and White |

Monday, September 23, 2013

This weekend I spent some time with my grandma looking through old pictures (i am making the memorial pamphlet for my grandfather's service this week - i also spent a lot of time working on that. no easy task summing up such a great man.). Looking through all the old black and white snapshots reminded me of what made me first really fall in love with photography - it was looking through (my other) grandparents photos when I was little. They had a bookshelf filled with photos in shoeboxes and I would sit on the floor for hours going through them, probably on a weekly basis. I was obsessed. I had no idea that this grandma also had such a treasure trove of photos. I have seen a few old photographs here and there, but nothing like the hundreds we sifted through this weekend of their own childhood pictures, of them from their "courtship" days, through all their kids and their milestones. It was really fun; and just look at how gorgeous my grandma was. I kept telling her this and she kept saying "well I never thought I was very pretty" and I would say "are you kidding me?! you have to be kidding me! look at you!" 

After that I came home and decided to focus on taking some black and whites myself - which I used to do exclusively. It seems when you take a photo intentionally through the lens of black and white (figuratively of course) your eye sees things differently. You capture images in a way that is different than when you are looking for color. You look for contrasts, shadows, patterns and textures. And the black and white image relays a completely different feel. So I did a little of that with my "real" camera and my iphone too. 

Sunday I woke up to a perfectly lovely warm fall wind storm and we took a little walk, then rain came down  cold - which was fine with me because my Sunday evening agenda simply included lots of television: the emmy's (i don't think i saw one single dress that i really liked), breaking bad (what is going to happen to everyone?!) and the last episode of dexter (which i didn't actually get around to watching last  night but that's why i have dvr.). 

How was your weekend? Can you believe we are heading towards October already?! I realized this when I went to the grocery store yesterday and saw an overflowing pile of these

Crush | Bloomingville |

Friday, September 20, 2013

One of my more recent crushes that I have been meaning to share here for awhile now is with Bloomingville. Founded by Betina Stampe, Bloomingville is a product line wholesale company based in Denmark, which sells home accessories to retailers (and online based companies) around the world. The products are sourced from European designers, as well as products designed in-house, in addition to vintage items from South Asia and Africa which culminates to offer nordic style designs, updated vintage and handmade products. The new Autumn/Winter catalog came out over the summer, and oh my, I would love to recreate every image in my own home. They have such extraordinary styling skills. Excuse me while I go into a state of unadulterated daydreaming. (You can visit the entire catalog online here to see more drool worthy photos.)

And thanks so much for all your lovely and thoughtful comments this week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. xo

Life in Reverse

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Yesterday my sweet grandpa passed away. Earlier this summer he was placed in a nursing home, luckily he ended up being really close to my house and me and boys spent many an afternoon visiting him for the last couple months. Several years ago I lost both of my maternal grandparents, both well before their time, in their early 60's. They were like parents to me and their deaths were very difficult. It was really tough (and still is sometimes). I have to say this feels so different. Happy even. Of course not happy that he's gone, I am going to miss him dearly, but it's lovely knowing that my grandfather lived to almost 90 years old. He lived a long, long life. There is just a certain joy that comes in knowing that a person you so love and admire simply got to live their life out. The life he wanted to live. And of course that I got to call him my grandpa for such a very long time too. He's been so special to me in so many ways.

On our first visit with him at the nursing home he kept telling me to remind him to get some of his artwork for my kids. I did. These are some of his sketches. The ones that remind me of him the most out of my little pile. He also did ink dot portraits (like this), but the boxes and boxes of sketches he has (an attic full) are mostly filled with political and social comics. It wasn't until I was teenager that I realized that he wasn't only fun and funny and good at drawing (and drew exactly like they did in the comic section!) but that he also was such a thinker and activist in his own right. I grew to love the juxtaposition of his vintage comic style sketches with his current event commentary. He completely dressed and lived as though it was still somewhere between the 30's and 40's but he always stayed informed and educated, always made up his own mind and encouraged others to do the same. He was a great person to have as a role model and it's a fabulous legacy I think to be able to share with my children.

This is so silly but when I was little my grandfather taught and his students looooved him. He would talk about him all the time and bring home little gifts they made him, and I think I must have been slightly jealous in the ways that kids are sometimes and I secretly wished I could be one of his students, but I would think he might be their teacher but he's my grandpa and then I'd laugh a little maniacal laugh in my head knowing of course that was way better. So there was obviously a little childish jealousy in that but it was also just pride. It was amazing to know that people just loved him so much. I have always been so proud that he was my grandpa. Still am. And when I think about him I just can't help but smile and feel so very grateful.

House Tour | Brazilian Retreat |

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Can you believe that view from the bedroom window? Me either. It's breathtaking - as is the rest of this beautiful Brazilian home. The courtyard and garden (ohmygosh, that garden!), the windows and patio, just stunning. I absolutely love the juxtaposition of obviously living on the slightest of outskirts of a busy, busy city (Sāo Paulo) and the tranquility that surrounds this home both inside and around the perimeters of it. You can read more about this home and the architect behind it here.

And thanks for all the wonderful feedback on the desk makeover post yesterday! xo

Desk Makeover

Monday, September 16, 2013

This weekend seemed to fly by as quickly as last week did. Luckily I had a surge of energy and ticked a few things off my list. Fall also made an appearance again on Sunday and cleaning the house with my fig scented candle burning and the doors open to hear the rain felt kind of heavenly.

One of the things I got around to doing was taking pictures of the desk that my 15 year old, Fisher, and I refinished this summer. The backstory is I had been looking for a desk for his room for months. I knew I wanted something mid-century and small enough for his room, but big enough for him to actually use. I couldn't find anything that I loved, or if I loved it, he didn't, or if we both did it was way over budget. Then one day as I was driving home from the store I saw this little desk (and the chair too) on the side of the road about a block away from my house. Obviously in its current condition it wasn't exactly the look my son was going for, but I loved the design, the lines, the size and that it was open on one side to keep a nice open feeling in his room. So I popped in the back of my car and we ended up refinishing it. I really think if I would have found this in the store it would have thought it was exactly what I was looking for, but the fact that we worked on it together makes me love it even more.

How was your weekend? 

More Friday Links

Friday, September 13, 2013

Maybe it was because I was in a bit of a fog for most of the week but it felt like it just flew by. And with that said I don't have an original content to share with you today but I do have some place where you can find some.

I found this DIY headboard and as a book lover I can't help but be smitten with it. I am not sure I would do it, mostly because I am sure I would obsess at a very unhealthy level in trying to decide which pages to keep open in the books. Could you imagine that process? Oy.

I really enjoyed this interview with India Hicks over at Classiq - I found it really inspiring at a time I have been needing a little inspiration.

A couple weeks ago I pinned a few images of Georgetown street art that was posted over at Talulaah, since then they have been repinned several times, so if you haven't seen her post you should take a look - the artwork evokes a lovely feeling of happiness and joy.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

House Tour | Småland Summer Home |

Thursday, September 12, 2013


So yesterday turned out to be a beautiful day and I found myself loving it despite my earlier feelings of wishing for cloudy skies. I also started feeling a lot better as the day progressed which may have had something to do with it. You'd never know fall was approaching here with our temperatures in the 90's and blue skies for miles. I have loved this sunny summer so much and even though I suddenly was feeling ready for fall I decided I am just going to embrace the hot days while they last because I know once it's gone it will be gone for a long while and I will get months to cozy up in my sweaters and boots.

This summer house is in Småland, you may remember I have a major house crush on this little retreat that is also in the same town. I am thinking I may need to move there someday. I love all the white and brightness as well as all the vintage pieces throughout. It has the perfect summery feel to it. I also think that smeg refrigerator would go well with the vintage range I found yesterday.  I can't stop thinking about that thing! I actually have a very similar stove but it's not gas and it doesn't have a pancake griddle in the middle of it.

MoodBoard | Gris |

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I created this moodboard last week when it was pouring rain. My gutters were like waterfalls and it was lovely. The weather has since gone back to full on summer weather. I want to love it and be happy about it but if you read yesterdays post you will know I have been feeling a bit sluggish for the last several days, and you know the weather should always reflect my personal feelings (i think i am ready for fall people! and i think i might be fighting off a virus?). So with that, right now I'd love it to reflect being wrapped up in a nice big cozy cable knit blanket under a larger blanket of looming grey skies. But being as I can't actually control the weather, I can live vicariously through my blog and right now I am indulging in beautiful grey tones that make me feel all cozy inside.

(images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6)


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I couldn't figure out how I felt over the weekend (and seemingly how I am starting the week off too). I wasn't feeling bad, but I wasn't feeling good. I wasn't feeling sick, but I wasn't feeling well. I wasn't feeling happy, but I wasn't feel sad. I wasn't feeling sleepy, but I most certainly wasn't feeling awake. Then yesterday as I was mindlessly perusing pinterest I found this and I thought, "yes, this is it. this is how I have been feeling." Blah. Sometimes it happens, for no reason at all, or reasons that are yet to be determined. But for the times it does I may as well make the most out of that cable bill pay every month of which there is a plethora of mindless entertainment to choose from. What is your favorite thing to do when you are feeling so very blah?


House Tour | Copenhagen City Apartment |

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy Monday! With last weekend feeling like such a long one, I think this one ended up feeling much shorter than I wanted it to. It was a bit of a so-so weekend. There were some highs, like a few things I picked up at my neighbors estate sale and having coffee with one of my favorite people in the world sans children (the last time we did that was 3 years ago!). But overall this weekend I just felt a bit drained and like I was dragging myself along. So I am starting off the blog week with a beautiful house tour which will hopefully inspire me to get mine in order today.

I love this Copenhagen city apartment and I think it is a perfect example of my Scandinavian minimalistic dream home. With enough old world charm like the ceiling moldings and medallions, carved pocket doors, and herringbone wood floors (modernized with a grey stain) along with the warm elements, like the beautiful rugs and wood accents, this modern home feel so inviting and comfortable. Yes, please, to everything.
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