Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Tea Time

I missed Tea Time yesterday, so my Dear Readers, I have a treat for you. My mom was telling me how she online shops then abandons her cart. A friend confided in me that she does the same thing too. A recent study found that nearly 60% of US online retailers survey are seeing cart abandonment rates of over 20% this year. They're in good company.

As many of you now, I am a fan of all things twigs and branches. I will never forget the silvery branches of the birch trees in Massachusetts countryside. So, of course I was drawn to Branch Home, a sustainable design for living store that's filled with unusual gifts and home accouterments you'll feel good about purchasing.
I don't think many of you will abandon your cart here.

Chaos Theory #1

I read a page of an old journal (circa My Early 20s) from the cache I've been storing in the basement. On it I wrote a few of the things that make me happy. At the top of the list was the word "cleanliness" and right after it "order."

Lately, I've been feeling good about where I am both physically and mentally. I've pushed myself very hard these last 5 months or so and now I feel ready to take the next step, which is create. Some artists can work in utter chaos, perhaps even thrive in it. Chaos thwarts me. I'd rather sit next to a pile of neatly stacked trash than a disheveled mess of fresh roses.

This is one of my many quirks. I've been rediscovering, or better yet, reminding myself of who I am in the new space than now feels like home. This evening we put down a large area rug near my writing desk that I let my bare feet brush across. Closing my eyes I could have been in Oxford only it was colder there this time of year, and unlike today, my house was lonely.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Hell or High Water

(In which Dante discovers that the Devil is actually dust.)

So I did not accomplish much last weekend. After an episode of House Wars (a new show staring Yours Truly and Significant Other) that highlights one couple's attempt to whip their house into shape, I lost my focus. That said, the weekend end happily ever after. Chris did another round of leaf maintenance on the lawn and I refreshed the master bedroom, removing at least a pound of dust and several bags filled with clothes and other miscellany.

A clean house will lift your spirits. Sadly, getting it into shape can sometimes feel as though you are Dante going through hell (except trust me, far less interesting.) There's something about removing the past and displacing it.

Friday, 13 November 2009

View from a Room

I wish you all could see the gorgeous vista I'm presently enjoying. It's a blue sky and my pansies are drinking in the sun. (I will too on a long run this afternoon.)

I been very busy at both the architecture and construction firms lately, but the busyness has recharged my batteries. OR perhaps it's just fall. I always feel sluggish in the summer months, trading exercise for ice cream or any other thing with the word 'ice' in it. Now as I watch the leaves fall in our back yard, I'm contemplating a weekend of chores I'm more than willing to tackle.

I'm hoping we'll continue our new tradition of Goldberg's at 9 (which is the site of Chris' weekly pastrami fest) and then I'll attempt the following:

  1. Clean non-public areas of house to match the now gleaming front area
  2. Vacuum car
  3. Rework intro for exhibition on sustainability for Gwinnett Environmental Center
  4. Rework marketing materials for a client
  5. Finish article tentatively title Comfort Me with North Georgia Apples
  6. Sort through old clothes/closets
  7. Begin stock piling for next weekend's yard sale
  8. Finish bathroom for good!
  9. Start jewelry chest project
  10. Write!
Maybe I won't tackle everything, but there's nothing more satisfying than crossing things off a list.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Just Peachy

(Leviathan, Bo Bartlett.)

There are a few things that I'm enjoying presently in our home.
1) Aquiesse candles from Devonshire in Brookhaven. (I've also discovered an intriguingly named Febreeze air freshener called Moroccan Bazaar. I initially bought it on lark for Chris since he lived in Morocco for a time, but at a fraction of the price of the candle and since we both enjoy the scent, we've kept it.)
2) A postcard I spied at A.'s house in New Orleans promoting the work of Georgia-artist Bo Bartlett. His paintings are evocative of Andrew Wyeth, but with a fateful twist.
3) A sweet potato pie leftover from dinner with Chris' parents on Saturday. Subtle cinnamon and a creamy filling. This is the sweet potato pie of my dreams.
4) Narcisco Rodriguez perfume. A birthday gift and a wonderful airy contrast to my deeply seductive - but equally heady and very 80s - Paloma Picasso.
5) Sibyl Moholy-Nagy's (aka Sybil Peach) book Native Genius in Anonymous Architecture. I'm reading this for research on a sustainable design exhibition that I'm working on with Houser Walker Architecture and the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center. It demonstrates how native builders contributed to modern architecture. And yes, she is the wife of the surrealist photographer.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Stay Tuned ... In

(Heart-breaking cake of staggering cholesterol.)

In an ideal world, it wouldn't still be raining, and I'd have the energy to be working out some creative project. Instead, I'm waiting for the rain to stop and I'm drained after a long day of sitting in Atlanta traffic and staring at a computer screen. In fact, it's actually been fairly productive start to my week.

The other day I was asked to help develop some kid-friendly heart healthy meals/snacks for a segment of TBS' Dinner and a Makeover. They're featuring Chris' mother's nonprofit organization the Queen of Hearts Foundation and will be preparing the recipes for a show that will tape in December.

"Can you have it done by Monday?" his mother asked.
"This Monday?"
"Yes," she said.

And so, come Sunday, I hadn't come up with anything. After sending an email to several friends who have tots ranging from age one to five, however, I had a little more perspective on what kids are eating today. What surprised me the most was that several of my friends' kids love things many adults have never tried, i.e. curry, quinoa, tofu, and soy milk. Knowing this reconfirmed the fact that I have a wonderful bunch of forward-thinking friends. You are what you eat after all.

So what recipes did I come up with? Stay tuned... We're testing them this weekend.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Tea Time

I've been in a whimsical mood, so now that the house is in order (the public part of it anyway) , I've begun to collect fun things for Christmas. My new favorite place to shop is Devonshire, a store in Brookhaven (just off Dresden near Peachtree Rd) that specializes in home furnishings and gifts. Although I've decided against putting up a tree this year -- we're still in the middle of home projects -- I'm picking up a few things to fill the house with holiday cheer. Continuing in the twig theme, we'll have a small twig Christmas tree.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Tea Time

(Briochin - Sexing Up House Cleaning)

It feels like 6 o'clock in the evening thanks to the time change. Alas, I'm late posting the weekly Tea Time link so here goes...

This week's comes from my boss at Houser Walker who shared with me the eye candy found on a package design blog. Why a package design site? These designers make even the most mundane of household chores seem glamorous. Oui! Oui!