Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Fond Farewell: reflections on the importance of goodbye

First it was a beloved apartment all my own, then it was friends and family while I enjoyed a month long work-action in New York, then New York itself, most recently the longer days of summer, and now I'm left with a mouth/heart full of yet another goodbye: 'Goodbye childhood home.' I pray quietly to myself that I am accurate in my belief regarding loss; it seems in the face of so much change, and not always welcome, necessary, or sought after change, one must decide that forward movement of any kind will inevitably lead to a better kind of magic. It has, however, called into question the necessity of the 'goodbye.' How do we honor the gift of progress while sating our grief over attachments in the past? Listening. Careful, quiet listening.

I've felt antsy about making use of my final days of summer, and so, as tribute, managed to kidnap a couple of dear lady friends and adventure to a new beach. We traveled just a touch south of the city to Saltwater State Park. It was revitalizing to nest in a tiny cove of beached driftwood, feel the Indian summer sun on my fading tan, drown out thoughts of worry, and untied endings, and unbegun beginnings in the soft Pacific surf.

I am learning, slowly but surely, to follow my instincts. To listen to the voice that some days tells me it is vital to find the ocean. To respond to the requests for grieving when loss is necessary in order to make room. To still myself long enough to remember who I am and who I still wish to become. Goodbye past. Goodbye summer. Goodbye home.

hello new magic.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dear Dealer #100,

"Nice Rack"...twss $125

One of my sweet men enlisted my services on the search for the perfect living room wall art, an antique bar, and some sort of magazine rack for the bathroom. Naturally, my first inclination was to deliver him to one of my favorite places on the planet: Pacific Galleries.

Incredible, and consistently surprising, how inspiring it is for me to wander through tiny room after tiny room, centuries of memories, tokens and treasures. One could spend years in that place sifting through all the tiny nooks and crannies. Among the things I felt a burning desire to take home were the aforementioned "rack," a gallery dining table constructed from salvaged Sunset Bowl alley flooring, and dear dealer #100, why do I want EVERYTHING in your booth?:

If only you could feel this chair: newly gilded Vintage Armchair $585 & set of Botanical bookplates $375

I pretty close to creamed my pants upon seeing this luscious item, oh how I yearn for thee...: Vintage Gentleman's Chest by Milo Baughman $2250

Dream of dreams color palette happening right now, double primary on black & white: Vintage crinkle glaze ginger jar lamp $475 & black studded table $475

The upholstery choice on this beauty is a bit garish for my tastes (imagine her in a nice chocolate mohair - SWOON), but good lordy I'll take what I can get when the gettin's this good: Gilded Antique British Settee $2550

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Design Time: Sea & Sky Bathroom

bathroom decor complete: salvaged bead board & antique elements

The bathroom is finally entirely unpacked and placed in some sort of reasonable order. In fact, it may be the most peaceful room in the entire apartment. I've been blessed with an inordinate amount of square footage here. It has been suggested to me that a chaise may be in order for proper lounging. Instead, I made use of my salvaged bead boards and a myriad of antique goodies treasure troved from Pacific Galleries.

ocean reminiscence: antique corral on bead board shelf

Sink-side tray: antique magnifying mirror & French bath goodies.

old French medic's tray holds my modern day torture devices

I could say I'm making some incredibly conceptual design choice here with the dichotomy between sea and sky, but really I just think they're pretty: quail eggs perched on top of antique medic's trays

Monday, September 7, 2009

Family Dinner (Sans Family); A Reflection Regarding Homemade Condiments

family dinner for one: cuisinart caesar, baked beans,
bbq chicken lollipops & soda biscuits with mom's vanilla bean fig jam

After a long, hard day of selling high end leather goods to colorful Canadian tourists, the item at the forefront of this tired shop girl's mind was... barbecue sauce. A package of organic chicken drumettes had waited long enough to meet their inevitable maker. I had spent the day in a hazy daydream of overflowing soup pots cradling the delicious blend of caramelized onions, molasses and aromatic spices that would soon be smothering those tender legs.

The gathered research on barbecue sauces led me to the creation of the following concoction: onions and garlic caramelized in balsamic & brown sugar, tomato paste browned with a mix of spices (I chose cumin, coriander, chili powder, mustard powder, red chili flakes, black pepper, sea salt, and the piece de resistance... cocoa powder!), and a final addition of Worcestershire, molasses, cider vinegar & tomato sauce. You can imagine my excitement as I added ingredient after ingredient to the pot and it actually started to smell like barbecue sauce. Sweet, sweet, sultry bbq.

It dawned on me what a powerful, delightful, and incredibly intimate gesture the act of creating one's own condiments can be. Earlier this week my beautiful mother had sent me home with a bell jar of her homemade, picked-from-the-garden vanilla bean fig jam. If heaven were to have a taste, this, I'm quite positive, would be it. The more I eat the more it becomes apparent that what makes eating an action, an activity... an event, rather than the fulfillment of a survival instinct, are those times when you're given the opportunity to connect with your food on an emotional level. I relish that tender moment of exchange between some piece of hand made sustenance and the delighted hand that accepts it. Such joy comes from such simplicity.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

trend watch & learn: bib necklace!

It's true... the only way to look good right now is to wear a bib necklace. A pile of odds and ends that may have some day become the most amazing necklace of your life, have been waiting patiently, crammed into a pink plastic bag, for what feels like months. With all of my boxes finally unpacked, and the mess put away, I took it upon myself to make a new mess. Just like the ugly duckling before it, out of the hot mess emerged a thing of beauty.

initial sketch

in progress: feather & stud placement

silk bib with leather accents & feather details.
studding & bead work by hand with tea-dyed muslin backing

ta da!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Photo Boothing...

–noun Also called sol⋅ace⋅ment.
1. comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble; alleviation of distress or discomfort.

I will admit with no shame, hesitation nor regret that I am an absolute photo booth addict. I seek them out. I find solace in them. I take great comfort in being able to carry away a memory from my few brief moments shoved into a tiny, curtained box, contorted into a logical sequence of (often drunken) poses with people I hold dearly. I love the climax. I love the anticipation. I love the clicks and whirs inside the magic little box while we wait, and the soft, sticky, sulfuric developer smell left on your hands after the initial viewing.

The day has finally come for me to find a use for the 50+ strips I have collected over the years of my youth (thank you chacha, broadway market, union pool, B&I, fun forrest, pretty parlor, neumo's, pdx ace hotel, and puyallup fair). A slow switch to a more monochromatic bedroom palette encouraged me to swap out the vintage rose post cards formerly inhabiting this gold frame, in favor of a new home for these photo booth treasures. My photo booths have seen birthdays, bon voyages, engagements, heart aches, and love affairs.

They are sweet, and simple, and timeless. They are my loves. xo.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

sausage & waffles

As far back as I can remember there have only been a handful of foods that I have a great distaste for. It took me until high school to learn that french fries are a delicacy. Donuts have always in sighted a gag reflex. And pancakes (and therefore, waffles by default considering it's often the same batter...) have never been invited to my breakfast parties. However, today must be a magical kind of day. A dear friend inspired a waffle-loving within me, and when I opened for a recipe, low and behold waffles were on the front page. Waffles were meant to be.

Oat flour waffles with fresh whipped cream and warm strawberry-peach compote.

Stella warming her pouf while we gorged.