Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Party is Over - No More Shopping

Well at least for the next forty six days. I've given up shopping for Lent. I haven't been a practicing Catholic since I was a child , but I do enjoy my yearly period of reflection and shopping deprivation! I'm also going to try and do positive stuff, as opposed to just giving something up this year. I wasn't even going to give up shopping this year, however, I've done it so many times it's just expected of me. So here goes! Just to clarify, grocery shopping is allowed as is window shopping. Purchasing of items such as clothing, jewelery and other goodies that normally tempt me are forbidden. Which reminds me, it's so sad that Lent always coincides with the big sales!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Glorious New Orleans

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and the last day to indulge before Lent. I can't decide what to give up this year or whether I should give up anything at all. I could commit to doing something positive like drawing every day or something healthy like dedicating 20 minutes daily to my new (yet to be assembled) Ab Lounge Ultra Sport. I still have a day to decide.

In the meantime, I was looking back at Bruce Weber's fantastic photo tribute to New Orleans with model Karen Elson from last April's W Magazine. I loved the images so much I put the issue in my pile of magazines to keep indefinitely. It's hard to find images from the issue on line but there's a great selection of videos from the shoot here on You Tube.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Beauty at the Beach

When installation art is bad, it's very, very bad, but when it succeeds it is gorgeous. I could look at these photos of McKendree Key's La Roca Grossa all day long. It's wonderful how she was able to realize the vision of her sketch and create something that has such a wild beauty to it.

I'm doubly impressed because while in art school I tried to create an installation piece in the waters off the pier in Red Hook and failed miserably. It was supposed to be a drawing with wood on water and ended up a sinking tangle. I laugh thinking about it.

For more about McKendree Key.

Alternate Realities #3: Praia Piquinia

I would happily step on into either on of these photos of Praia Piquinia by Christian Chaize. Christian has photographed this particular beach over and over again for many years to create an ongoing portrait of a beloved place.

I think either one would be great above one's desk as a reminder that there's more to life than work. Even better, would be to have the pair as a reminder of life's flux and the subtle beauty found in truly observing things.

The photos also make me think of an afternoon spent in Tulum on a beach, that had similar terrain, and the quote by Heraclitus, "No man ever steps into the same river twice, for it is not the same river and he's not the same man."

The prints are available at 20 x 200.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More Inspiration

Okay, so this is actually not an inspiration wall but Jane Schouten's version of a Christmas Tree. Still, it is objects on a wall and I find it very inspiring. I love how she has brought together all of these small disparate objects to create a wonderfully original Christmas Tree.

I'm inspired to create a wall of my own dedicated to all the miscellaneous, oddball and beautiful little treasures I have tucked into drawers. Sadly, it may have to wait a few years as I have a mischievous toddler whose become quiet the the thief of late.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Inspiration Walls

I definitely feel in need of a little inspiration lately and am thinking about setting aside some time to create an inspiration wall. I made one for myself a few years ago and really loved it. I wish I had taken a photo of it. I'm sure seeing things I loved everyday helped me incorporate them in to my life in ways I wasn't even always fully aware of. At the very least, it's a nice way to remember what you really are drawn to at a given moment and maybe even a way to experience a sense of abundance without spending money.

I was really inspired by these images of Scott Campbell's space on The Selby. His studio is just down the street from my apartment in a gorgeous old factory building.

More inspiration from Martha Stewart and staff.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sweater Love

I really have to catch up on my knitting. I was browsing through the patterns section of The Knitting Garden and found another sweater I love and must have (in other words - knit)! The sweater is from Louise Harding's Winter Muse Classic collection. All of the sweaters take their inspiration from a film star of character. My favorite is appropriately called "Bridgette". C'est fantastic, n'est pas?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wallpaper: A Love Hate Relationship

I love the rich possibilities and patterns wallpaper offers and yet, as I prepare to sand the wallpaper glue residue off the walls of a room that I am taking back to a neutral paint color, I hate wallpaper. As always I'm split. I could image a wonderful sitting room papered in one of the deeper hues of the peacock feather inspired Grete pattern above by Villa Nova. I could also imagine finishing up only to find another pattern I loved even more. For those with the strength of conviction when it comes to wallpaper this pattern is available at

Recession Fun # 5: Origami Hearts

Sometimes the smallest gestures speak the loudest. A good thing considering the constraints on so many peoples wallets this year. I'm going to hunt down my supply of origami paper later and make some hearts for my friends.

I really like the version pictured above which is nicely demonstrated in this photo stream on flickr.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Affordable Luxuries # 4: Love Letters

When was the last time you received a love letter? And I mean a real love letter, not a Hallmark card, not a flirtatious email or a suggestive IM, but a real handwritten love letter through the post. When was the last time you wrote one? Have you ever written one?

I have some love letters tucked away someplace from a relationship that went south a long time ago. I think I keep them because while the relationship did not turn out to be the love of my life, the letters testify that my suitor indeed did love me enough to take the time to express his feelings by letter. Who knows, I'm sure it helped that this was before everyone had email (yes this is truly ancient history) and we were separated by an ocean and overseas calls were insanely expensive (no sykpe either!). I know I waited with anticipation for his letters and was thrilled when they would arrive. I would read them over and over and then carefully craft my response. Perhaps, if the relationship was set in the present day, we would just be emailing back and forth. Which makes me wonder if technology has not dampened romance a little. Thoughts?

While you're considering whether you should pick up pen and paper and take the plunge why not rent Possession for some inspiration. Or better yet, if you have the time, read the novel by A. S. Byatt.

Francesco Rubinato has a beautiful line of pen and ink sets that ooze romance. I love their peacock feather pen pictured above.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sailor Jerry's Sailor Girls

I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of women's t-shirts on Sailor Jerry's. The cuts look cute and there is an edginess that suits their tattoo pedigree. It nautical wear for girls with a little attitude.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Love Nests

I think bird's nests are such amazing creations and lucky. I keep a nest (man made) with two opal colored marble eggs and and butterflies in the family section (Feng Shui) of my bedroom for good luck. So I was delighted to find Sharon Beals photographic exploration of all manner of nests. There are over 50 photographs in the series which are available as editioned prints. I think a pair of these photos would make a lovely Valentine's Day or wedding gift. I could see feathering my own nest with a couple too.