Thursday, July 31

Sweet Find: Kate O'Connor

You think you've found the love of your life and everything seems to be clicking until...gasp!

These little handkerchief gems are from Kate O'Connor. She's got me inspired thinking of a myriad of other questions I want to ponder and embroider....

add to kirtsy

Tuesday, July 29

Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

It's just been one of those weeks--I got some sad news and I'm feeling a little bit grey. I've been in need of some serious quiet, some comfort and soft light, a pot of coffee and a sliver of chocolate. These more meditative times are so important, aren't they?

Image Sources: White Bike Ceramics serving set, Live Wire Farm book shelf, Burdick Chocolate Cambridge Square, Peek Keep slippers.

add to kirtsy

Sunday, July 27

Sweet Find: Cabbages and Roses

Cabbages and Roses has me thinking about minimal styles and neutral tones for the fall. Wouldn't it be great if all clothes could be this comfortable and garden-friendly? This weekend, I'm feeling ready to disappear into a pasture like this for a little while. Beautiful.

add to kirtsy

Saturday, July 26

A Vision for the Event: Frills for Fall

I am loving the ruffles of the newest JCrew wedding gown. I can just see a fall celebration...yellow, russet, faded gray, light green and amber, all with some hints of colonial New England style.

Image sources: Martha Stewart, epicurious, Jo Ann Williams on Twist, Snippet & Ink Real Wedding.

add to kirtsy

Sweet Find: Anna Fabo

These smocked girls' dresses by Anna Fabo are something else--talk about wedding perfect! The fun pinwheel pins, the intricate embroidery, so rustic and elegant at the same time. Now that I have a new niece I have all sorts of good reasons for looking...hmmm!

add to kirtsy

Thursday, July 24

Sweet Find: Charm Co.

I love C.H.A.R.M. I first read about this lovely little place via Blueprint (miss that mag! even the blog is done--sad!). There's just something sexy about a swingy, curiosity-making trinket. The perfect accessory for the commemorate summer memories, maybe?  In this case, sitting, just sitting watching the flowers grow...! 

add to kirtsy

In the Spotlight: Kay Ryan

I don't often write about poetry on this blog. It is what occupies me in so much of my life and I like to reserve this space for other thoughts and inspirations. Today, though, I can't resist.

The Library of Congress has just announced the new United States Poet Laureate and it's wonderful news: Kay Ryan. Ryan is only the fourth woman officially named to this prestigious national literary position. Her poems have been described as "tiny, ingenious devices that inevitably conceal some hidden wonder." Salon's critic warns: don't think these pieces are merely decorative. (This, coincidentally, is how I think about good design--at its best it, too, is not simply decorative but deeply poetic. Good design also has a deeply eloquent language. A topic for another day...I digress!)

One of my favorites is called "Patience"--something I could use more of, always:

Patience is
wider than one
once envisioned,
with ribbons
of rivers
and distant
ranges and
tasks undertaken
and finished
with modest
relish by
natives in their
native dress.
Who would
have guessed
it possible
that waiting
is sustainable—
a place with
its own harvests.
Or that in
time's fullness
the diamonds
of patience
couldn't be
from the genuine
in brilliance
or hardness.

This last sentence is so profound, so enigmatic. It makes me think that, just months ago, I received one of the greatest gifts of my life--a beautifully small and perfect diamond ring. This tiny thing is my most precious possession. I wonder about the "diamonds of patience" that cannot be distinguished from it. What a powerful meditation. The perfect thing to contemplate a month into marriage.

add to kirtsy

Wednesday, July 23

Sweet Find: Bailey Doesn't Bark

What a great wedding gift these four seasons illustrated plates could be. Add a series of teacups and perfect! For more information about the artist, there's an interview with RJ here.

add to kirtsy

Tuesday, July 22

Sweet Find: Tickled Pink Knits

All this hot weather and I'm already thinking about fall--always looking ahead...! I'm going to relish that first brisk autumn day. Wouldn't this shawl by Tickled Pink Knits be the greatest accessory for those afternoon walks?

add to kirtsy

Travel Diary: Museum of International Folk Art

One of my very favorite places to visit when I'm in Santa Fe is the Museum of International Folk Art. The place is filled with every kind of art & craft imaginable: chairs, ceramics, puppets, blankets, wood carvings, collage, you name it. This trip I wanted to be sure to stop in for the exhibition called "Needles and Pins: Textiles and Tools." The curatorial work was wonderful: Greek embroidery, Japanese fabric stencils, a cotton gin from the Philippines, a brilliant blue spinning wheel from Turkey, Swedish ribbon looms, a Buddhist priest robe with swirling dragons of the brightest colors, even Italian suspenders! The gallery was a joy to walk through with everything so tactile, everything made to be living art. (The museum website doesn't have any pictures to share from the particular exhibition otherwise I would have put them up.) Needless to say, if you find yourself in New Mexico and have a love for fine craft and design, this is the place to go. Next time we plan a trip to Santa Fe we're hoping to make it to the International Folk Art Market. The tents were going up as we were leaving and it looked like one great art party!

add to kirtsy

Monday, July 21

A Vision for the Event: Classic Confetti

I'm all about color these days--well, not so different from most days with me, just maybe more so! With this board, I thought I would play around with a seriously fun black tie affair. For colors, I thought a whole array of vibrant jewel tones and the more pattern the better. In order to keep with the theme of sophistication, I thought the graceful, modern calla lily and artful black-and-white photography. What a great good time this could be...!

Image sources: Art School Girl, oaxaca dot fabric at Purl Soho, Arrows Restaurant, Jenna Walker Photography, Alex Monroe, Martha Stewart,, Plum Party, PaperSource, Wedding Photojournalist Association, Good Stock.

add to kirtsy

Sunday, July 20

Into the Kitchen: Sunday Night Dinner

Tonight for dinner we made Chinese lettuce wraps and these easy little shrimp eggrolls. Out of this world. I mean, it was all healthy (generally speaking--there was a little bit of frying involved), colorful and full of flavor. Plus, we have some leftover for tomorrow. I edited the shrimp recipe (I'm all about simplifying lately) and just wrapped the prawns with a bit of cilantro in a wonton wrapper--that's it--and they were wonderful. A little soy sauce, a little Mongolian fire oil--outrageously good.

(Photo from here since the original did not represent the beauty of the meal at all. At all.)

add to kirtsy

Saturday, July 19

Gratitudes: Week in Review

It has been one busy week here! A couple days after returning from our roadtrip the summer semester began--whew. Teaching five days a week has kept me on my toes. Despite all the running around, we found some time this week to really enjoy summer at home. I'm so thankful for:

1) Swimming laps with Kelly--three days a week, go team! Who knew how relaxing exercise could be?
2) The last piece of our wedding cake--I couldn't resist, it was wonderful for breakfast with my favorite coffee...!
3) Our garden, despite looking like an overgrown jungle, has produced a whole array of flowers--new dahlias, tiger lilies, stargazer lilies, the red heirloom gladiola I planted (mentioned here) and, of course, more and more zinnias.
4) Homemade pizza--I found this recipe and tossed on some chicken and prosciutto. So yum!
5) Getting to see all 500+ photographs of our wedding by Allison who, in a word, rocks. I may have mentioned this before, once, twice, maybe three times--
6) Being home--sweet home!--and having the scent of cedar winding through the rooms to remind us of New Mexico....

add to kirtsy

Find It on Film: Caramel

Our Saturday night movie: Caramel. The cinematography is beautiful, the storyline compelling. I highly, highly recommend this Lebanese film. If you liked Monsoon Wedding, you'll love Caramel.

add to kirtsy

Sweet Find: Botanical Illustrations

In the most recent issue of Martha Stewart she had a great article on collecting and antique sellers. The Antiquarium, of Houston, Texas, has a fine selection of botanical illustrations for sale online. There are all sorts of fun, strange, saucy drawings available. Myself, I'm a huge fan of the citrus fruits in the sky.

add to kirtsy