Wednesday, December 23, 2009

breakable light

okay okay. one last, last-post before i'm off (i'm supposed to working on applications and it's killing me. so procrastinate i will). i saw this picture today and had one tiny pang where i thought--though traveling these past months has been the most incredible time, sometimes i miss (just a little) having a settled place of our own to decorate, to design, to throw holiday parties in. if i was decorating this year, you can bet i'd have whipped up something like this-- the simple whimsy and delicate breakable light. beautiful.
(truthfully--i begged Z for a winter wedding. but realistically, we're both from way too cold places and half the guests would probably have found their flights delayed or canceled)

{image via unrulythings via stylemepretty}

Monday, December 21, 2009

thanks to you/ornaments

Z & i are having a raucous time here in the states. we've been visiting friends and fam and soaking in all the burn & bite of this snow-filled cityscape. but before it's officially christmas eve-ing and present time, i wanted to take a minute to say thanks to all you amazing readers for your support over the past three and half months since i moved off to london and started this little endeavor. writing here has been a good way to keep connected, to meet some new friends, and to jump-start poetics. so thanks! i hope all of you are having a fantastic week--may your days be filled with family, food, and the whirring of holiday lights. more posts post-christmas! for now, a sneak peak of our finished typewriter key snowflake ornaments (i'll have some close-ups and details next week. Z & i are considering putting some in an etsy shop, any thoughts?). in the meantime, happy holidays to all of you!

sleepy statements

though Z & i opted for an almost entirely handmade holiday this year, these pillowcases caught my eye. my sister and her husband love love love miranda july's strange phrases. and what a great way to display them!

{image via thirddrawerdown}

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

let it snow

the northeast is blanketing itself in white: the landscape all quietness and slow drifting. it's amazing to be home. to see my family's faces. to sleep in and wake up to the familiar. posting may be a bit spotty for the next few weeks--as i'll be spending less time at the computer and more time in the snow of it all. but i'm not disappearing entirely, i promise.

{image via leslie}

Monday, December 14, 2009

on air, or oh baby it's cold outside

right now i am in the air over the ocean, heading home--filled up with blinking lights and excitement over the snowglobing i am flying into. i am so ready for: smalltowns, houses, & liftbridges; tiny niece-hands & bright mittens; ornamenting trees & sugaring cookies; swinging with ella fitzgerald; sliding on icy sidewalks; snowmonster making & balled-up snow thrown at loved ones; home-cooked chili & shepherd's pie; first married hanukkah & christmases; sleeping in real beds; N's amazing secret-recipe breakfast potatoes; new babies & old friends; the thrill & many-expletive moments of ornament making; filling up stockings strung along fireplaces & staircases; waking my sister on christmas morning (we will never be too old for this); the just-lit-match scent of wintering air; and eggnog eggnog eggnog. man oh man. my heart is all hot-air-ballooning. home--here i come!

{image via unknown}

Sunday, December 13, 2009

flying into the holidays

yesterday Z & i meant to spend hours and hours packing and getting ready for our returning. but instead...we just might have gotten super excited, over-imbibed, danced, giggled, and fell-over ourselves more than put things in luggage. so today we are buckling down and actually getting ready. i can't wait to be on that plane, bridging myself back to our families and all that snow. happy third night of hanukkah! happy almost-christmas!

{image via ffffound}

Friday, December 11, 2009

the round-up

beat-boxing flute anyone?!

these stole my heart

this print or this breathing analysis would make great gifts for your literary-minded buddies (Z bought me one of the first-edition kafkas last year!)

i've been impatiently awaiting this for years! i hope it has some killer cake or death moments

these melting notes are haunting & beautiful

a sweet ring, a rocking necklace, a delicate bracelet

the most incredible thesaurus which maps language in a more visual format (i couldn't live without it).

a glamorously everyday vintage find

leave it to a kick-ass poet to finally snag an etsy artist for a book cover

re-usable wrapping? yes please!

a scary but staggering video that's been floating around--it vibes off max ernst-style collage and weird animal-mythology (& i think one lady even borrows fornasetti's classic julia face)

today i am off to some silly souvenir shops for stocking stuffers (oh, the alliteration). it's hard to believe it's almost time to head back across the ocean for the holidays. i can't wait to see everyone (including my friend J's new little dot--i can't believe he's almost a week old!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

hall of mirrored delight

jan fabre glued 1.6 million jewel scarabs to the ceiling of this palace in brussels. the project, titled heaven of delight, took four months and twenty-nine assistants to complete. the enormous task of gluing was not done at random--there are specific patterns, animals, and initials found throughout. why beetles you ask? fabre opted for them as his medium in a nod to belgium's controversial colonial history. what a staggering outcome! (though i admit, i'm not sure how i feel about palaces in general. more on this later).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

as if my brain had split

i am working on a piece that borrows a line from an emily dickinson poem as an epigraph. and right now, what with my own brain feeling a split & tired thing, the poem feels rather apropos. today was long and involved many many tube rides, buses, and transfers. but...i have officially been offered some guest lecturing for the spring. and a reading. what luck! so in celebration of poetics, i offer you dickinson's difficult beauty, her intense technical play and word prowess.


I felt a Cleaving in my Mind —
As if my Brain had split —
I tried to match it — Seam by Seam —
But could not make it fit.

The thought behind, I strove to join
Unto the thought before —
But Sequence ravelled out of Sound
Like Balls — upon a Floor.

{image via maggietaylor}

after travel unravellings

i have found that it is best to include one at-home day as part of your traveling plans. the day after you return is not the kind of day you should plan to do anything too serious. or anything that needs real energy. so yesterday was not spent unpacking or making lists to help us get ready for our travel home to the states. it was, instead, spent curled up in our warm duvets reading books; knitting christmas gifts and watching tv episodes. and, because it's not all just fun and games, it was also spent working on a first draft of a poem i started in lisbon. to me, minus our heating issues, it was the perfect post-travel day. and today--well, it's back to the grit and grind of real life.
(p.s. our internet is being spotty--so bare with late posted posts).

{image via thisisn'thappiness}

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

home is where the broken hearth is

Z & i returned home last night, safe and sound, around 1am. since check out at our pensão in lisbon was at 11:30am and our flight wasn't until 8pm we had been wandering around and carrying our luggage for what felt like eons. we couldn't wait to be home, tucking in to le petit bateau! but when we walked inside it was freezing--our flat as cold as an ocean. this morning we are bundled up (long underwear, hats, scarves, cowls, doubled-up socks) and waiting to hear back from our landlord. what is it with returning from trips to find some thing or other is not working?! maybe it's to keep our traveling elation in check.

Monday, December 7, 2009

in ten years

one of the things i love to do is imagine Z in ten years (or more). he's so handsome now, with his scruffle and untame-able curly black hair and glasses. and i super heart him as he does things like practice his conference talk. but imagining him as a tenured professor, giving lectures, coming home from classes all wind-blown and trench-coated (clearly we are living somewhere on the east coast in my mind)--well, that just catches my breath. Z is one of those guys you can tell will age well. so in ten years, i imagine professor Z like this man--feeling utter confident in his self and his purpose. and more matured (in both age and behavior!). swoon. i am a lucky gal.

we'll be back home this evening (super late). and i assume we'll be so tired we'll just hit the hay. so until tomorrow.

{via the sartorialist}

Sunday, December 6, 2009

train stations as salve

one of my favorite places to visit in london is the train stations. the light & arch, the girders & bustle; the incredible sense of purpose that people possess while rushing about. train stations are as functional and awe-inspiring as indoor bridges, and as architecturally detailed as cathedrals. but in london, they are truly staggering. whenever i am feeling gloomy, i head off to st. pancras with a good book. i wander around amidst the travelers, sometimes stopping for a croissant and a glass of wine or hot cocoa. sometimes just gliding up and down the escalators on repeat. i imagine myself into other people and their lives. i invent their story or dream myself into their adventures. and the stress and sadness lifts off me, up into the beautiful vaults of the ceiling. this place houses some sensational stations. and i highly recommend a visit if you are feeling swallowed in the city's darks. (at home, wegmans was my tiffany's, with it's endless aisles and bright groups of food/boxes/people. everyone has to have a place that makes them feel that better things are going to happen).

Friday, December 4, 2009

cocktails & cars are good for partying

one of my favorite old-timey drink is the sidecar: a mix of brandy, orange liqueur, and lemon or lime juice. not only is it delicious, but it makes me feel like a flapper--especially when paired with red lipstick. (you can read some of the varying stories of where the drink's name originated here). but this past week i tried an incredible twist on the classic--a pear and cardamom sidecar at the old queen's head. and it was divine. there are many recipes out there to choose from--though i'd go with one that involves brandy rather than vodka. i hope you all rock your friday like you mean it!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

avoiding the paper party (part two): tin ribbons

Z & i have a mini collection of typewriter ribbon tins that we purchased in various antique stores over the years (including the galaxy one above). they represent the writerliness of us both and our love of old-school attention to design. but vintage tins also make perfect houses for gifts--earrings or cuff links or small antique ornaments. and typewriter ribbon tins, in particular, would make fantastic holiday gift boxings for people. they'd also make great individualized thank yous to your bridesmaid/groomsmen/general wedding party, each of whom undoubtedly has a different style & personality. we would have used them for our wedding, but our giftings didn't quite fit! in any case, the tins are super easy to find on ebay--though much much more expensive than if you spend some time searching at flea markets or the like.

(man. sometimes i wish was there was a job where i could get paid to come up with new ways to re-use old items. i love the challenge!)

{images via uppercase}

avoiding the paper party (part one): canvasing

i am the first to admit that i am obsessed with wrapping paper. every year i find an exquisite roll and carefully use every centimeter of it--i love origami-esque creasing and secret circles of tape. i dig the challenge of working with super difficult paper (last year i chose something more like flocked wallpaper than wrapping). but this year, i'm thinking sustainable--for the environment & for cost--why pay for something that goes in the garbage? these DIY canvas bags would make rocktastic houses for gifts. instructions here.

(for the record, my paper love has nothing to do with my family. my parents long ago abandoned wrapping for re-usable and beautiful matryoshka-like boxes. every year they pull them out and just re-tag. way to go rentals!).

{via designsponge}

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

a factless autobiography

while traveling around this week Z & i are reading the book of disquiet, one of the most famous works by portuguese writer fernando pessoa. we chose the fragmentary disquiet over some of his other writing because we hoped it would allow us to read in fits and bursts while we scoped out the city (and some of the cafes where he wrote!). i'll let you know my thoughts when we return.

flying off into

this morning we are off to lisbon--a city of history & tiles, of elevators & hills, and of sun & deliciousness (apparently it's home of some incredible port!). lots of posts are scheduled to go up all week--so don't go anywhere. and feel free to leave comments as i will be checking my mail when i can--it's always nice to see your voices, both friends and strangers.

{image via tobyotter}

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

old life meet new life.

pictures might be happening in our near future! so this afternoon, with the possibility in sight, i actually let myself think a little about our wedding. the weeks leading up to it, while extremely stressful, were also a unique sort of moment in the snowglobe of our lives. there was sunning and friends and family. there was ithaca at the height of its gorgeousness (a word, now that i'm not living there, i can use!). there was our fireplace/ceiling/windows/walls filled up with garlands (if you click on the pic above, you will see just how papered our livingroom became). there was watching the sky lie down on the lake from our fifth story apartment. there was fireworks & balloon-views up on the illegally visited rooftop of our 1920s building (where nabakov lived for a while). there was anticipation bouncing between us.

and the pay off for all the work and stress and crazies was phenomenal. our wedding was rocktastic. it was truly the most Z&C sort of party we could have planned. we were grounded and untethered at the same time. our guests were all light and drinks and dancing (as evidenced by the picture above where you see we are mid-thriller). but while re-minding over all these things, what i felt wasn't nostalgia. it was the absolute fizz and bang of looking at the right now. and at all the future nows ahead of us. how far we have gone/will go in just the few months since we were married: from ithaca, to rochester, to toronto, to london, to paris, to birmingham, to lisbon, to toronto to home again. a whirwinding. a living. a life. and our relationship is changing alongside all the rush and individual beauty of these cities--shimmying and shifting in the electric space of travel as we craft a new section of our histories. which is all to say--i am grateful, even amidst new stresses, that we made this wild decision to pack up and head across the ocean. (though i do miss my family so much i tend to dream i am saving them from some ridiculous and not actually dangerous thing).
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