Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My New Wierd Obsession: Willow Hurdles

Maybe I've just watched too many episodes of Midsomer Murders and have become enamored of the English garden aesthetic through osmosis. That would explain my love of willow hurdles and why when I think of how my garden is going to look, I can't get the image of them out of my mind.

Realistically, I think my still to be dug garden is going to be have to be much more modest at first. I have yet to find a source of hurdles on the east coast and have limited funds to work with. This year's garden will likely have more in common with the Victory Gardens of WWII than an English garden but I can still dream. Either way I'm looking forward to getting some dirt on my hands.

The lovely willow hurdles pictured above are by WonderWood.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Time for a Clean Sweep

I had wanted to get a jump start on my Spring cleaning this year but somehow Spring snuck up on me. I planned on having cleared the decks of clutter before winter ended. Now the forsythia is threatening to bloom and I'm just getting started. Oh well the best laid plans...

The good news, now that I have begun, I am proceeding with a vengeance! I think I am trying to deal with all my anxieties by organizing various corners and drawers. "Less is more" is my mantra as I try and let go of the stuff that has become just clutter. I have moments when I think it would be easier to attack the problem with a good broom. It may come to that, and if it does, I want a broom as cool as the one pictured above from Pioneer Broom Shoppe.

So here's a list of what's in the garbage or on it's way to Sal's (Salvation Army) so far:
  • Three lipsticks in impossible to wear colors
  • A dried out nail polish
  • A cheesy hair straightening product
  • A pair of running pants I always trip on (and I'm just walking)
  • A pair of American Apparel sweats that are cute but always feel like they are falling off (not a comforting sensation)
  • A book from an old boyfriend that I always suspected was a recycled gift, at best it was a thoughtless gift befitting his self-centered nature
  • Christmas cards that were never used
  • Christmas tree shaped peeps that were beyond the good kind of stale
  • A lone juice glass
  • A mauve colored lamp that looks like it was stolen from a hotel
  • A jar of jalapeno jelly ???
I just have to keep going and know how good it's going to feel living in the clear.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Scarlett Crush


I love this tiny short of Scarlett Johansson emoting away. It reminds me of practicing faces in the mirror as a teenager. I only wish I had Scarlett's range.

Thanks to xoxoxo e for sharing the link.

Vertical Gardening

While I have plenty to do to get my horizontal gardens in shape, I love the idea of vertical gardens and creating green oases in unexpected spaces. I think oasis is the perfect description for this courtyard with soaking tub and adjacent bedroom. The vertical succulent garden and floral bed were designed by Flora Grubb Gardens.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Affordable Luxuries #5: Heirloom Seeds

I'm gearing up to start a real vegetable garden this year. The last time I grew vegetables seriously, meaning more that just a tomato plant on a fire escape or a couple of pepper plants and herbs in pots, I was still a teenager. So, I'm facing the task with a weird combination of child-like exuberance and real trepidation. Am I up to the task of tending a crop, no matter how humble? Here I am with images of beautiful English gardens and French potagers floating in my head, while in reality I have yet to break ground and don't quite know where to start.

The answer may lie in these charming seed packets from the Hudson Valley Seed Library. The Art Pack series offers a selection of heirlooms seeds in petal fold packs with specially designed artwork by local Hudson Valley artists. At $3.50 a pack, forgoing a fancy latte today could yield a whole crop of heirloom tomatoes by end of summer. Think how happy I'll be biting in to an old fashioned tomato sandwich.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our Spotted Dog

I had to post this photo as evidence that I did indeed rise to the occasion yesterday and made Spotted Dog for our St. Patrick's Day meal. I'm proud to say I made it with just a bowl, pastry cutter, wooden spoon and cast iron pan. No Cuisine Art required. It was quite tasty, but now I want to try out various recipes until I find the perfect dog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

In The Wake of The Pogues

It hard to believe it was two St. Patrick's Day ago, that my dear friend Miss Connell and myself made our way through a frigid night and a not so traditional dinner of fondue before heading to Roseland to see The Pogues. We arrived just in time for a rousing rendition of Turkish Song of The Damned and were lucky enough to make our way past the mosh pit to a much safer perch in the balcony. Shane McGowan lead the infamous Irishmen in song and was in fine form save for the wheelchair.

The site of Mr. McGowan so infirmed and apparently at death's door upset Miss Connell who, under the influence of a kind heart and a healthy amount of Jameson, vowed that he must be saved from further depravity and whisked off to a rehabilitative spa of sorts. I watched with a combination of awe, amusement and admiration as Miss Connell made a case for rehab to several fellow members of the audience. Perhaps had I not been a wee bit pregnant at the time, and limited to a couple of sips of Guinness, I would have taken up the cause as well.

McGowan as it turns out was not wheelchair bound due to his lifelong flirtation with self-destruction or as near to death as imagined. He had injured his knee in a fall off the stage earlier in the week at a gig in Boston. How could that have happened? Well perhaps self-destruction did play a part. Happily McGowan lives to tell the tale, as do we. If you read this Miss Connell, cheers to us!

The Pogues will be performing at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC tonight. To those lucky enough to have tickets, I wish you as brilliant an evening as we had. Sláinte!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tomorrow Is Another Day

And Mike Monteiro doesn't have bad a plan. He also has four "perfect for our times" prints available at 20 x 200.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Practical Beauty #1: Live Wire Farm Hooks

Maybe it's being in the midst of a recession that makes me find my tastes leaning in the direction of practical. That seems an apt description of these hand shaped wooden hooks and brackets from Live Wire Farm in Jacksonville Vermont. Add to that their simple beauty and you have a fine place to hang your hat or purse at night.

They also have a selection of hand carved spoons "in lots of shapes and sizes for your sauces" to make the cook of the house happy too.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Something Has to Give

It's just been one of those weeks where it seems difficult to move forward and make anything happen and I have a feeling this inertia is not limited to me. I don't know if I can continue to watch the evening news and maintain a positive attitude anymore. I'm going to take the weekend to chill out and hope that Monday brings a jolt of positive energy everyone's way.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ryantown in NYC

Good news for Rob Ryan fans, Earnest Sewn will be hosting a Ryantown pop-up shop beginning April 2nd in NYC. The shop should be up for about six weeks in their Chelsea store. Now those of us on this side of the pond can see Rob's work up close and maybe grab an awesome pair of jeans and some great art at the same time. Brilliant!

Little Black Dress a la Bardot

Either of these scene stealing little black dress from L'Wren Scott's Spring 2009 ready-to-wear line are worthy of BB herself and perfect for channeling your inner French film star. Action!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Your Very Own Silver Lining

Let's hope so. If you're having trouble seeing the good in things lately, this straightforward poster from Keep Calm Gallery may be just what you need to shift your perspective. It's certainly not a bad sentiment to keep in mind these days.

And if you just so happen to be a fan of clouds, check out this round up at Patten Pulp. You may be part of a growing trend.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

J Crew Toothpick Jeans Make Me Want to Excercise

This photo of J Crew's Toothpick Jeans makes me so nostalgic for my pre-mommy figure, I want to make a real commitment to regular exercise. Granted they are made with two-way stretch fabric and I'm sure I could get into a pair, but I'm tired of the above the waist line bulge. It's amazing how I was able to wear a skinny pair of Levi's up to the last few weeks I was pregnant and looked fine. There's something cute about slim jeans and a giant baby bump that doesn't hold true for a flabby tummy. I just realized I have no idea where that pair of jeans, I love so much are and that may be I should sign up for the 2009 Self Challenge.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Drawing Inspiration

I just finished prepping some drawing surfaces and would like to believe that I will start drawing any second now - to be realistic any day now. While it's not a matter of motivation, but rather finding the time, it's still nice to have some inspiration to draw on. So I was pleased to come across Drawing and Notes, a blog about "drawing, scribbles, notes and an occasional painting or photograph." The blog showcases artist's drawings and provides links to artist portfolios and information. I could click away all day but I have drawings to get to.

Drawings above:
Gerda Scheepers, Measures of a shy, 2005
Katie Holten, Dead Tree (left hand/right hand) 2008