Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bird in the Thyme

When I turned twenty-six I chose two goals to work on. I'm proud to say I finished the first - we paid off all our credit card debt! It didn't take me that long since we really, really worked at it! We threw almost every single dollar that didn't go to living at it and were able to pay them off in just under two months! It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it.


As I had promised when I completed this rather intense and not so pleasant chore I was able to pay cash for a small indoor herb garden. Our neighborhood has a really nice garden shop with a very knowledgeable staff that was able to help me pick out three easy plants to grow and they even repotted them into this lovely pot for me. I put them in the west window in the bedroom and it really, along with the dried lavender next to my bed, makes it smell fresh, clean, and well...provincial. It smells like summer in the south of France in my home now!

I look forward to using the little leaves to cook with over the summer and hopefully over the winter. If I can manage to keep these plants alive I'll be thinking about adding a terrarium and maybe some succulents to the plant collection as well.


PS: I'm listening to this mix right now. It's good for quiet and hot summer days.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Little Quiet Space

Hello folks! I have some pretty exciting news for you all that I will announce next week as soon as I have a chance!

Trellised roses in the courtyard.

It's been very, very busy here with house guests for almost two straight weeks! I've also been keeping up on my mandolin playing, learning french, and sewing a lot. I've also been reading quite a bit. I finally finished The Happiness Project (not as good as I had hoped), Three Men and a Boat (Better than I had hoped) and A Tail of Two Cities (Tearjerker!).

Tonight I'm off for my first ever French conversation group meeting, which I am a bit nervous for because I don't have a good grasp of the language, though I have been reading Le Monde articles to try to get some current event vocabulary so I don't go there knowing only how to say "Je suis Elizabeth!"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day


Dad and me when I was three months old.

Happy Father's Day to my amazing dad. I would be nowhere without you and mom!

I love you!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rain and Roses


The eighty year old roses outside our apartment are going crazy, blooming desperately.


They are trellised or lolligagging around in enormous bushes, and we even have some peonies tucked in between.


They come in many colors in our back yard - reds, deep pinks, fuchsias, yellows, even a salmon color.


I walk by every morning, when the air is still sweet and new, and breath the gentle scent of the roses in.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Family Trunk

When I graduated from college I asked my parents for one thing - this trunk:


I didn't just ask them for some random antique sitting around the house, I asked them for the single trunk one of my ancestors brought over from Poland with her when she immigrated to the United States. I come from a family of poor farmers - we've been dairy farming in Northern and Western Wisconsin for a long time, so we do not have a lot of things sitting around that belonged to them - we never had that luxury. Everything was used until it was gone.


I think this particular thing survived because it was so useful, and couldn't be turned into a rag, plowed to death, and probably proved useful storage. It certainly shows wear on the outside and the inside as well.

Right before my parents gave it to me my dad fitted the inside with cedar and turned it into a cedar chest for me.

I use it to store memories, lots and lots of letters, little trinkets and pieces of family history.


I wanted to clean it out today, so I took everything out. I pulled out a few photo albums to put on shelves but everything else went straight back in.


It was good to look at these things - old diaries, love letters, journals, pieces of family history, and photographs. My life has been a happy one, and my family amazing. These things remind me, again, that I am blessed.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Little Black Dress

This particular dress was my little black dress throughout most of college and the last year or so of high school. It lives in my closet towards the back where the black dresses run up next to the floor length evening gowns that must stay hanging. Even though I haven't worn it for a long time I couldn't bear to get rid of it.


I finally had another reason to wear it tonight, and I paired it with my interview pumps from Urban Outfitters, a thrifted vintage patent leather handbag, and a funny little invented braid.

Because I've had this dress for years it holds so many happy memories. I wore it to my first real grown up cocktail party, to the Milwaukee Art Museum parties I used to go to on their request. I spent a happy new year's eve in New York City in it. I went on several first dates in it too. I even wore it for a cycling themed photo shoot.


I got the dress from my sister's closet, like most of my favorite pieces. She actually acquired it from her high school's theater department's stash of dresses. I think she wore it to a formal and then it sat around for awhile until I decided it was just about perfect. I borrowed it and well, eight years later, I don't think she's getting it back any time soon. (And this blog post had better not encourage that either, Miss C! :)


Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Collection of Lovely Things

Isabelle invited me to take pictures of a gorgeous party she catered in exchange for dinner - certainly a deal I couldn't pass up!


Here are a few pictures from the party - a little sneak preview.


Maybe I should be a food photographer for a fifth career, right?


A collection of links for you:

- A free printable for planning projects - I plan on using this as I work on my top secret project and life in general!

- Vivian Maier was the original satorialist. She was a street photographer during the 1950's to the 1990's. This blog features her life and photos which are beautiful in a rough and tumbled, black and white, real life Chicago sort of way.

- I just finished my last knitting project and I'm getting ready to knit some of these little dish scrubbies from Berlin's Whimsy.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Dinner Table


"Fork goes on the left because they both have four letters in them," my mother used to say to me, "put the blade of the knife facing the plate, the spoon to the right."


"Napkins go on top of the plate, usually." and I would do as instructed, placing a paper napkin on top of each of of the five plates at home, putting out five sets of mismatched missionary barrel acquired flatware that my parents used until we three were gone to college.

It was this way I learned to set the most basic of dinner tables - the one for every day use by your family...


...and these are the things I recall whenever I set my own small table.