Thursday, October 7, 2010

The End of History

Maybe Stargate SG-1 wasn't so far-fetched... or maybe it was just shot in Yugoslavia.

I am in love with Jan Kempenaers series, "Spomenik: The End of History", which captures the bleak present-day landscapes surrounding post-WWII Yugoslavian monuments. These monuments were erected both to honor those lost, and the beautiful utopia envisioned by these Communist artists.

read more here


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Man's Treasure...

Working in an antique shop, I think the phrase I hear most often is a variation on 'We had these when I was a kid'. Or, 'My mom had this when I was growing up.' Always, 'my mom'.
At first my retail-tuned ears would perk up at this, thinking that now they would obviously have to buy it. With an emotional attachment to the object, how could they leave it behind? But leave it behind they did. In fact, they usually leave the store pretty soon after. I think today I finally realized why.
Seeing a memory from their childhood, an object tied to their past and their mother and their precious individual experience among the stacks and stacks of other peoples' crap, of course they leave. This commodifying of their personal history must at best jarring, at worst painful. It doesn't really matter how I arrange the objects, or the care I put into writing the tag. The bottom line is that I have placed a monetary value on a piece of their past and have lumped it in with what must suddenly seem an offensive conglomeration of stolen goods. Sitting innocently behind the counter marveling at all the history in these treasures and trinkets, it somehow escaped me that the objects themselves don't just have their own stories to tell; they also bear the heavy burden of others' stories.


It certainly casts the two rings I bought earlier this week in a new light. I wonder what damned spots they bear.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Morbidity & Whimsy

I have this quality that I have been trying to define forever. This is my latest definition.

I am morbid, very morbid, and it is at odds with the overwhelming wonder and delight I have in my surroundings. At night I watch the shadows on the walls and think about horrible deaths, and am paralyzed by fear. In the morning I am woken by a golden light that seems to beautiful to be true, and am overjoyed. These sinister thoughts (which I often feel incapable of reining in) and my more whimsical ponderings (which also roam free without my consent) are typically contradictory. Reading this I am sure you are hypothesizing that I am manic. But do not fret; sometimes there is a union of these two qualities and it may be when I feel most whole.

My February 22nd post included a photograph that entrances both sides of me, the morbidity and the whimsy.

On one hand, I am terrified. The deepest black is in that doorway. The white stairs, they lead to nothing. What is below? Is it glass, or the stillest water, the most sinister lake. Above the door, these angry angles, is the building folding in on us, are time and space at an end? Am I?

On the other, I am sinking into that lake. It seems it would be so lovely and cool. And when I reach the other side I will look up beyond the stairs, beyond the doorway, and I will know the depth of those perfect angles. Placing one foot at a time on each of those stairs I will feel the most incredible anticipation. Each concentric ring on every toe will forever remember this smooth white climb.

This union of morbidity and whimsy, this is when I feel most overwhelmed by beauty. I have been thinking a lot about this because of three things:
1) I live in Ohio, again. If this place were a color, it would be dusty goldenrod. This is one of my favorite colors. It is beautiful and sad beyond words.
2) It is the beginning of autumn (my favorite season). Everything seems to be dying very slowly, but I know that really it is just the start of a most beautiful slumber.
3) I am reading Miranda July's collection of short stories, No one belongs here more than you. I can only read one story at a time, sometimes it is a week or more before I can pick it up again. These stories absolutely bowl me over in their beauty and pain. The book is bright yellow. I treasure it.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Do you remember BusyTown? Richard Scarry's overstimulating creation of a fantasy-land in which all creatures happily interacted throughout the day as they navigated the streets running errands. These errands were, it seemed, the bulk of their responsibilities in their chosen profession. Well, wait, not 'chosen'. No, because it seemed obvious from the clearly marked labels and their perma-grins that their profession was not chosen by them, but by a higher authority. If you were born a dachshund, then you were a painter. If you were born a beaver, then you were a book printer, of course.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Mr. Richard Scarry, I blame you. Your delightfully illustrated books entranced me and as a result I believed wholeheartedly that there was a profession out there that would just choose me. Eventually I would stumble across it and my mouth would stretch into a life-long expression of contentment and satisfaction; I would finally be found by my true calling.

But, it's not that easy. I'm on a strange and winding path and there are too many forks and bends ahead to know where I'll end up, or if I'll ever even 'end up' anywhere. I guess the thing to do is to recalibrate my expectations. I do not need to find 'my calling', but I do need to set some standards for myself, some basic requirements.

So, here's one:


And another, please?


That'll do for now. Don't want to be greedy.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Settling In

I've arrived.
My new life in Columbus has begun, a whirlwind of sticky hot days and surreal nights. It's strange, but good, to know that when I wake up in the morning this place is still 'my home'. I've been snapping a few pictures here and there (solely with my fancy new phone: I went from a three year old flip phone to a 3G Droid. That's the real life-changing moment of note in the past few weeks). Here's one from my vacation at Rehoboth Beach, DE.

This pooch is a total celebrity... in his own head.
You should've seen him posing.

Back to the business of settling in: our first guests arrive later this afternoon!

Wishing you a relaxing Sunday,


Friday, June 18, 2010

virtual treasure chest

I just noticed (and corrected) a glaring omission from the list of "Emily's Favorite" blogs featured in the right-hand column: I'M REVOLTING. Have you seen this? It's the most incredible assortment of treasures. Go look; you'll be entranced.

You're welcome.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Junetime Daydreams

What I really ought to be doing right now, instead of whiling away the hours at work, is sitting on a breezy porch, listening to She & Him (envious shout-out to my girls in Chicago), playing at being crafty and resourceful. Maybe doing something like this, but with more hot glue blobs.

Alas, here I am, wrapping up a 15-hour work day... but I am listening to She & Him.

Wishing you a happier Tuesday,


Sunday, May 23, 2010

May Edition

Rather than making excuses, again, I'll just finally 'fess up:

I kind of suck at blogging.

I think I'm alright with the actual production of posts, but I just cannot seem to do it with any regularity. So, let's embrace the sporadic nature of inspiration and impulse, and move on.

A few things that have happened in the last month:

Six inches of snow on April 29th.
It was just as stupid and bizarre as it looks.

My Max got his B.A., finally.

My little sister (who happens to be taller than me)
(yeah, I finally admitted it, shut up, Olivia)
turned 16.
[And took advantage of the opportunity
by requesting a very strange combination of dishes.]

Some other stuff happened, but I don't have photos of those, and I'm tired of talking about myself.

Check out my new obsession, ColourLovers. I even made a thingie for my blog.
It's over here somewhere.

'til next time,


Monday, April 26, 2010


Today is strange. Sometimes strange is beautiful, though.

e.g. Axel Erlandson's Tree Circus
via notcot

It's supposed to snow on Wednesday. I feel a soul-crushing sense of resignation. Did I mention this is my vacation week?


p.s. In the same vein:

Ettore Guatelli

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Oh, by the way, I'm moving to Columbus.

photography by yyellowbird

Not for a while (about three months), but it's happening.

So if I seem absent, it's because all my internet time is being spent trying to get a feel for my future home. Of course this is impossible, but I will break Google trying.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Song Remains the Same

I don't know about you, but when I finally reach the end of a television series I love, it's really hard to part with the characters. I have to comfort myself with the strange and slightly delusional idea that their 'lives' go on after the final episode -- and that in a way, they are happier because everything isn't quite so simple or predictable.

Today during my morning commute I was listening to a new favorite song, Vaporize by Broken Bells (fortheloveofgod, check out the whole album), and I experienced that same bittersweet pain, but the musical kind. It fades out, leaving you so happy and so wistful, wishing that it could just go on and on. You know?

And then I had this really nice thought, it's been making me smile all day: What if the songs continue past the end of the track? What if there's this place, this dimension, where these perfect melodies go on and on, and every little space is filled with that buoyancy, forever?

I hope someone out there gets this.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring! Has! Sprung!

Today it is eighty degrees out! I am incapable of saying anything intelligent or interesting! Take a look at these pretty pictures instead!

I love bud vases.

snowdrops are so perfect.
I don't think I've ever seen them in person, though.

so many types of daffodils!

Every pothole should look like this.
via Oh Joy

My current desktop background.
Can anybody think of an endearing nickname for a guy named Vincent Van Gogh?
...explains a lot, don't you think?
via etc.

Go play outside! Now!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Victorian Pickles

Things have been a little fractured around here lately. Not really an excuse, but maybe a little explanation for my absence. So, in the spirit of gathering the pieces and making something beautiful and successful, I want to share with you these beautiful Victorian collages. Playing with Pictures: The Art of Victorian Photocollage, an exhibit at the MET through May 9th, features the 'whimsical and fantastical' of 'artistocratic Victorian women'. These images alone are spell-binding, but as a previous Samantha-doll (I can't believe they sent her to the archive!) enthusiast, I was nearly intoxicated by the potential backstories of these incredible pieces. Especially my favorite, below. I wish I could see these in person -- the tiny ancient globs of paste would inspire such lovely daydreams.

Feels good to be back. More coming soon,


Monday, February 22, 2010


Having a bit of a 'staycation', as my mom calls it. I call it 'making do'. Expect photos in about a week. Until then, a bit of an escape for the rest of you trapped at home. (February's hard.)

It just makes me so happy.

This one's for my girls. Remember when?

It's all a matter of perspective.
yet again, via Design is Mine

This is as scary, and as beautiful, as it gets.


Sunday, February 14, 2010


Oh, right -- that's what the Postal Service is for. Thank you, Mr. Postman.

a perfect window display


To Take Flight

This holiday always affects me more than expected. Wings would be nice, today. But I'm earth-bound, with 570 miles between me and the one I love. Google tells me it would take almost 8 days to walk to him. I guess they probably aren't allowing for sleep or snack breaks, either. Still, some days I am tempted to make like Forrest Gump and just go.

What a strange little video.

What a lovely little video.

What a sweet little shirt.

Happy Valentine's Day. I hope you have love and chocolate today.


Monday, February 8, 2010


Tonight, a few things that get my heart beating a little faster, and might incite a little sigh.

the tenderness, concentration, and quietness
that this must have required... beautiful.

imagine sitting on a balcony or patio
with the one you love, drinking
twin cups of tea, silently reveling
in the new day.

there's something so beautiful about
antique blueprints... but of the
Eiffel Tower? Lethal dose of romance.

and, just in case you've been living under a rock the past week or so:

it's strange to think of all the things
we know and do and think in relation
to our Google habits...
this one is less romantic and more bizarre,
in my opinion.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Valentine's Day

Now, I've never cared much one way or the other for Valentine's Day. For the third year in a row I'm going to be celebrating* an anniversary just three days after V-day, so the Hallmark-tainted holiday has even less bearing on me than in the past. However, I am ALL for romance, gifts, and not-so-subtle hints for boyfriends, so I will be doing a few themed posts in the next couple weeks. Today's theme is: gifts!

I know there's a lot of penny-pinching these days, so I thought I'd focus on what I consider to be the most fundamental of Valentine's Day gifts: the card. Just a reminder that you're a leading lady in someone's daydreams is often gift enough.

Classic Romance: calligraphy expressing your own
sweet sentiments, adorned with smooching swallows.

Semi-sweet: last one a little too saccharine for your taste?
This card's sure to inspire a smile.

Naughty&Nice: this card gracefully expresses how much you love
to hump your partner, through the ingenious use of
adorable bunnies as distraction from the lack of any real sentiment.

Natural Lovin': this delicate illustration doubles as Valentine and gift,
just put it in a frame and you're done!

And in lieu of any of these, remember, just a page of college-ruled paper and some sincere sentiments scribbled down will do the trick. In my mind at least, Valentine's Day is one day when the adage 'It's the thought that counts' absolutely rings true.**


* sel-uh-breyt: to work a double-shift, read blogs all day, and eat obscene amounts of candy in an attempt to forget that your love is halfway across the country.
** That being said, I would cringe if anyone (other than my middle-school boyfriend) gave me a sandwich bag of flour ('heh, get it? flower?') and the smallest-ever Russell Stover box of chocolates. Poor guy.

new inspiration

I discovered Design*Sponge just a week or so ago, and I can't decide which emotion is stronger, the frustration that I haven't been reading it forever, or the giddiness that such a blog exists.

I wish I knew how to manipulate and coordinate such bold colors as these:

I love the stools best.

Not that I would if I could. I think this is much more my speed:

The cabinets are perfect.

You should click through and take a look at the rest of the photos, both of these houses are impossibly beautiful.


Sunday, January 31, 2010

Wish List

Today I'll just be sharing some images of a few things I wish I possessed. This post started as a rather straightforward wish list, a few objects I would like to hunt down for myself someday. But then the list took on a new character, and now I'm left with a thoroughly disjointed, if beautiful, collection. I guess my New Years' mentality still hasn't worn off, or maybe it's just that the future is on my mind all the time now. Exciting things are happening, and I hope to share those with you soon. For now, a peek into my greedy little head:

a bookbook macbook cover. Brilliant, no?
via Oh Joy

a bold, colorful light fixture in the kitchen. This is totally trendy right now, I know...
but I think it's the type of trend that will be adored by the grandkids,
perceived as emblematic of the times. And shouldn't we embrace those trends?

a cheap, lovely trip abroad,
ala English Muse. Will definitely be taking her advice
and visiting VRBO when the time is right.

a chic home that flawlessly balances the sheen and glamour
of the modern, the nostalgia and whimsy of the past, and the raw beauty of nature.

finally, the confidence and character displayed by this man.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lines & Shapes

I am longing for these beautifully bound collections of loosely themed works from various artists. Launched in February of 2008, there are 10 volumes so far, each more stunning and fascinating than the last. I love seeing the widely varied interpretations of such common words as 'Break', 'Pair', or 'Blur'. I can't imagine the endless inspiration and wonder they'd inspire up close.

a preview of 'Blur', my personal favorite

Visit Oh Joy! to enter the drawing for the complete set! Or, better yet, don't, and cross your fingers for me.

Dreamily yours,


Monday, January 18, 2010

Co-ed vs. Chic?

Since first stumbling upon the blogosphere my horizons have been broadened, my tastes expanded, and my brain is now full up to the brim with beautiful words and images... and now, suddenly, I'm experiencing my first negative side effect: TOO MUCH PRETTY.

the dream of a fragile dress on a creamy wall

Let me step back and explain.

a wall of old photos and pretty things in antique frames
via sweethomestyle

In six or seven months I will be making my first move out on my own, ish. My boyfriend will also be there, in my new as-yet-unknown accommodations, and this is where my problem lies. Well, wait, that came out wrong. I can't wait to be living with my boyfriend, and making a lovely home for the two of us... but where do I draw the line with all the lovely and the pretty? Where will his video games and gadgets and other boyish nonsense go? I somehow doubt that he'll want to stash his PS2 in a vintage suitcase.

mm, I've already started collecting these beauties -- just one so far, but it's burgundy!

Everywhere I look, there's tones of pink and beige and ivory, heaps of pearls and tapestries and gauze, and there is that part of me that refuses to believe I won't have my own oasis of femininity. This part of me even feels occasional resentment toward this wonderful boy, for depriving me of the romantic boudoir of my daydreams. Clearly, this is insanity, because without him there would be no romance.

this one's a little too girly even for me
via sweethomestyle

I have found a few images (see below) of co-ed but chic spaces to aspire to, but does anyone out there have any recommendations for inspiration? I'm floundering in a sea of lace and baubles, help!
the portrait's a little over the top, but I love the couch among all those neutrals
via sweethomestyle

it is one of my life goals to own a screen as perfect as this one