high / low

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

the high

the low

I mentioned yesterday that we are getting summer weather this week, right? Almost 90 on Thursday (!), which means I need to go dust off some of my summer clothes. But of course my first instinct was buy new clothes which led me to a little online browsing. I've confessed at least a hundred times that I am addicted to black leggings - which I know makes fashionista's everywhere cringe. But seriously, I live in Portland, it rains here almost everyday for 9 months out of the year, so we get a free-pass in my book (and i've never proclaimed to be a fashionista, especially if it means forgoing leggings). But come the warmer months I trade in my leggings-uniform for my maxi dress-uniform. Same idea of comfort and ease of wear. Having three kids and my office being my dining room, I just don't need to dress up. And I am just not the kind of gal to wear short dresses or skirts very often where I can't sit cross legged in the grass with my little ones, or sit on the floor and cut fabric. I also like to the added bonus of hiding the transparency of my 9-months of rain legs - not that I'd ever get tan even if we had 9 months of sun. But it doesn't mean I don't like to look nice, or at least feel "dressed" on a daily basis. And, I will give in to fashionista's that leggings are not very accommodating to dressing up too much, but maxi dresses are. You can switch out flat sandals for heals, your jean jacket for a pretty a scarf, add some nice jewelry, and voila, you are dressed up. Which is good for me because it seems the warmer months are the ones I need to dress up in more often. So I love them and I am so excited it is getting to be that time of year again to wear them. 

I started collecting the "high" look and then I noticed the prices of everything on this list I decided I should probably make a more affordable/realistic list. And you know, I can kind of like the "low" look better. Though I think I'd have to splurge on the Byredo fragrance. 

Perception Collection | Week 1 |

Monday, April 28, 2014

Row One Reflection: tdsuth | living_in40 | tempusfugitrapidus ; Row Two Tiny: mawlovesbsd | laurenkeim | whitneyxsarah ; Row Three Negative Space: atha_94 | melissasovey | beemer123 ; Row Four Found: nmsullivan0909 | bedsidesign | delyndaw ; Row Five Architecture: hildi74 | lynnfalo | pkimball60s Row Six Down Low: ladnermelanie | nobelandpond | sandrat212 ; Row Seven Memoryjenni_429 | lifeandonlocation | maggiemuses

Monday. Monday. It's here again. Thankfully this weekend ended up being a productive one and my goals for the weekend were accomplished. Phew, it's been a few weekends since I have been able to say that. Which is even more fabulous because this week is suppose to be beeeeauuutiful. I'm talking lots of sunshine and temps in the 80's. I am hoping I've cleared enough space over the weekend to get out and enjoy it this week. And I think I did. While I did spend most of the weekend working, I did take a little break and we went and saw the Bears movie on Saturday. Which validated my opinion that bears are so cute until they look like they could kill you. The movie was filmed in Alaska, where I spent a couple summer months camping and cleaning fish, and we would tromp through the dark forest covered in fish guts back to our camp. As adorable as a couple of little bear cubs are, bears are one of my worst phobias (I was once chased by a bear in Idaho), how I made it through my Alaskan adventure remains a complete mystery to me. The whole time I was watching the movie I was taking mental notes - don't go to meadows, rivers, mountains, and most definitely not in the early spring when bears come out of hibernation and are very hungry. In fact just don't go back to Alaska. Ever. (no offense Alaska, you just have a lot of bears.)

We also finished our first week with the instagram challenge. It's been so much fun. The reason I personally wanted to do it was because I love taking photos, and I wanted a reason to take more, and more purposeful ones at that. It's definitely helped. I often drive by something and think "i should pull over" or "that would be a great photo" or "i should go 'here' to take some pictures" - but I rarely act on it. This has been the push I needed to do those things. And I am hoping that it will become my instinct and habit, rather than falling back on excuses for not doing so. I think I mentioned that Lauren and I were prepared for it to be pretty small group for our first time, but that it in fact turned out to have quite the little following. With that we decided to split the featured photos into two weeks rather than one. And still. It was so hard to choose which photos to feature. It was like trying to pick a favorite child (and having three I can tell you, you really do love all your children equally, even if differently), this was a nearly impossible task. Having said that, I have already started collecting photos from the second week. So check back next Monday too when we feature the second half of the challenge photos. Also be sure to visit Lauren at Still+Life today and see her picks. And thanks so much to everyone that has joined along! If you haven't joined and want to, you are more than welcome to join anytime, play catch-up, or just pick a couple of prompts. You can see more info here and check out all the photos in the collection here.

House Tour | Sydney Cottage |

Friday, April 25, 2014

I seem to often be daydreaming about Australia. I know for many, Australia conjures up images of giant and deadly insects that call the land of Oz home. But I think of the sunshine, warm breezes, outdoor living, deserts and beaches, and the amazing interiors from Australian homes that I seem to come across on a daily basis. And this beautiful beach rental is feeding those daydreams ferociously. There is absolutely nothing about this space I would change, and even in houses that I completely swoon over I can usually find a little something here or there that I would change. But here, nothing. It's perfect. That fabulous outdoor area, those big sliders and windows that are drenching this space in light is also making me want the stretches of sun to last a bit longer around here. Though I suppose I am busy enough right now that I should appreciate being rained in. The rain and chill is the perfect boundary for me to stay on the interior of my threshold and get some work done this weekend. How about you, what are your weekend plans? 

Images: Homelife

Creature Comforts

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I read somewhere once that you can ground any space with a few of your favorite things and rituals. I definitely believe that is true. Running a business out of my house, as I might have mentioned a time or two, or ten, I sometimes have to let the work take over, which can leave me feeling less grounded and more chaotic. Which isn't all that great of a state to be in for either creativity or structured tasks. Right now is one of those times. I am working on wholesale orders, new products and a craft show that is coming up in May. It's a lot. And work has taken over my house as of late. But I do find even if I have to put on my blinders and let the laundry pile up, I do have a few things that I do that makes me feel me feel more grounded and centered, and most of importantly reclaims that sense of home in my house. Because of course motherhood and life is in the mix as well.

1. I always go to bed with a book. I put my phone away and read. Last night I started A Constellation of Vital Phenomena and I can't wait for bedtime tonight. So far, so very good. 

2. If anything brings me back to focus or calms me it is lovely scents (there's a lot of scenty goodness on this list). One thing I really love is incense, and I really love it when in comes in a pretty package like this one because I like to keep it out and easily accessible. They say that smell is one of the strongest triggers of memory, and for some reason many of my favorite memories seem to involve the waft of nag champa in the air, or maybe it was just the scent that made the memories pleasant. So that is a regular in my house too. 

3. I always like to have a nice throw handy. For myself, to cover something up, for my little ones. It's just one of those comfort things and a soft pretty one is all the better.  

4. Candles. If I were a billionaire I think the amount of money I pay in rent now could easily be allocated just to candles. I love the energy they bring into a house, and of course the scents. This candle smells like a library. Two of my favorite things in one!

5. I try to have fresh cut flowers at all times. Right now is my favorite season for flowers. Tulips, peonies, and stargazer lilly's are my favorites. I am currently trying to invest in better vases, as vases seem to be one of those things you end up with. And because I "end up" with them, I never buy them. I'd love to add this crinkle vase to my collection though.

6. I am obsessed with Kate Magik anointing oils. Obsessed I tell you. There are different blends that have various aromatherapy properties. I dab a little bit on all throughout the day, especially before sitting down to work. And perhaps it's all the placebo affect, or just beginning a task with the intention of where you want to be mentally and emotionally, but they really work for me. Right now my favorites are creativity and performance blend and fearlessness and confidence. And they smell so good. I've always loved oils but none as much as these. 

7. I tend to channel Mr. Rodgers on a daily basis. I have so many cardigans. I really believe you never can have too many, and I change them out throughout the day. This grey one is probably my favorite style (it goes really good with leggings. speaking of which, leggings should probably be at the very top of this list).

Do you have any rituals or items that help ground you?

House Tour | Till Salu |

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

This home that is for sale in Goteborg is so unique I had to share. I am not sure I would be the right buyer for this place, but some of the things I think that might make me queasy living here, are exactly what makes it so unique and, shall I say, pretty awesome. To start - the spiral staircase. When I lived in England we had a spiral stair case, and while I thought is was so pretty (and quite the space saver) I never went up or down it without envisioning falling and breaking something. These spiral stairs lead up to a loft bedroom which bodes a glass floor. Eek. Here I imagine I would carefully walk around the three inches of floor space between the bed and the glass floor (and of course I imagine myself spying down to the lower level too). And if you look really closely you will see that the stairs go all the way to the ceiling in which you can climb out the skylight to your roof. Again, not sure that would be for me. In fact one of my most frequent reoccurring nightmares involves me climbing up stairs that get smaller and smaller until my only way out is a teeny tiny window. But that view! And the tall ceilings and those beams? I get get on board with those. 

Photo Diary | Eggs and Such |

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours was a pretty good one. Our instagram photo challenge has been so much fun. Honestly, we were prepared for it to be very tiny on our first go around, but Lauren and I must have emailed 20 times in excitement over how many people are participating and how fabulous all the photos are. You can see the collection of photos here

Friday M+L discovered the Tinkerbell movies, so we had a bit of movie marathon day, which allowed me to get some work done as well - though I will admit I did get side tracked by the great fairy escape. Saturday started out with some pretty fantastic news for us around here. I held my breath and checked the mail and there was a letter (finally) from the school district - for those of you that have been reading on here, for awhile you know back at the end of February I was in a flurry of application deadlines and school tours trying to get M+L into a school outside of our assigned school (there were lots of reasons I it wasn't a good fit for us). I did the same for my oldest to get him (initially) into an art school, and every time he's graduated to a new school since in an effort to keep him with his friends; it's gotten more and more difficult. More people, less schools. For high school I had to appeal twice, and I just didn't want to always have the uncertainty for the second round of schooling. So I had to make a tough choice between trying for schools I really wanted (like the art school or environmental school), or the school that is actually closer to us than the one they would have fed into (about 6 blocks away as opposed to over a mile). My gut kept telling me the closer school, I just had a feeling, so I went with that. And we were approved. I am really happy and very relieved, though I will admit that there was a moment when I thought, did I do the right thing? I know I will miss the creative, introverted, and wool/patchouli-infused environment of the art school, but once in awhile you feel pushed in a direction, and there were so many signs leading us here, and the fact that we got in so easily, validates all of that for me. Hurray!

Easter actually lasted longer than I anticipated (in a good way) and the weather was better than expected. Though Sunday morning I woke up to realize I had no baskets and though our eggs were boiled they were still stark white. So I scrambled and went to the store, unfortunately the dyes were sold out, so we ended up painting the eggs, and if you look at the top photo you might notice they didn't dry in time for our easter egg hunt. Oops. After that we went for a walk up the the little hill to see where M+L would be going to school. As you can see from their faces they were pretty excited. I finished the weekend by finally finishing the fifth book in the Game of Thrones. And as soon as I did, I thought, why??!! why was I trying to finish this? Oh the waiting begins. The next book is projected to come out by 2017. ugh.

How was your weekend? 


Friday, April 18, 2014

The weekend is upon us again, as is Easter. Any holiday plans? Honestly, for me easter doesn't amount to too much. I am wont to break out in holiday spirit from about December 26th to October 30th, nor am I ever very excited at the thought of overloading my kids on candy - which I do because, well, it makes them jump and giggle with excitement (and crash and cry of course. but sometimes a little indulgence is okay.). I am imaging our easter festivities will last all of about 5 minutes, maybe a little longer depending on how well I hide the eggs. But those paper-mâché masks are making me really wish I had the desire to get crafty, if for no other reason that to take a few cute photos and watch M+L stumble and bumble around in giant animal masks. I just might have to remember that for halloween. And if I didn't just swear off ice cream this very week, I would love to make the pistachio and rhubarb recipe. But trying to deny the fact that I am lactose intolerant doesn't make it not so unfortunately. I think I will be a good enough sport to dye some eggs though. Hope you all have a great weekend. xo

+ Ada, over at Classiq introduced me to the website Jean Stories this week when she posted about it on her blog. It's been a really fun site to peruse. 

+ The 13 year old huntress (the photos are amazing).

+ The person who spurred the writing of this blogpost and I see "ugly as f*ck" very differently. 

+ And last but not least don't forget to join in our Instagram Challenge this week!! You can see more info here, or over at Lauren's blog Still+Life. And you can follow me on instagram here and Lauren here

Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Photo Diary | Bautistas Art |

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A few weekends ago, my friend and I went down to Portland's Saturday Market. Our first stop was at a booth with these amazingly beautiful handwoven wool rugs from Oaxaca, Mexico. Since getting my new rug, I have found I am completely rug-obsessed and have an entirely new (renewed?) appreciation for them. Before this last rug I got, I have only ever purchased one really nice rug before, and that was so many years and "affordable" Ikea rugs ago, I forgot what an impact a beautiful rug can make. And not only that but that they really are not only a necessary home decor item, but can be a usable piece of art in your home. I am fairly sure the guy could see our eyes start to twinkle and sparkle as we made a b-line to his tent. 

He was kind enough to meet our enthusiasm over his work by giving us a little history of his craft and a lesson in the process of how the rugs are made. He pulled out a little jar of cochineal beetles, crushed them and told us that is how they get burgundy dye.  Then he mixed in a bit of lime and told us this is how they get red dye. He then added a bit of baking soda and made a purple dye. Everything is done by hand. They are handwoven by himself and his family who have been weaving for 3 generations now (the one pictured is one he personally made). Every design tells a story within it. When I asked about his prices to begin with, I will admit, I was a little deflated. But by the end of our conversation with him I couldn't believe they were priced so well for all the work that went into every step of making this beautiful artwork. And it wasn't just the work, but the passion, the pride and the story. You can't put a price on that. And in case you are wondering, yes, I am putting some money in my piggy bank for ones of these. I have literally been laying in bed at night imaging where I am going to put one when I get it. ...and mother's day is coming up...

For more information on these rugs please visit Bautistas Art. And if you are in Portland or coming to Portland and need a rug get down to Saturday Market stat!
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