Thursday, August 30, 2012

Summer Escapes: Dreamy Maine Cottage

With the last long weekend of summer upon us, my thoughts have turned to getting away. Although we have family in Maine, our only visits so far have been day trips from Boston. But after spying this sweet summer rental from Sesame and Lilies owners Diane and Jay Speakerman, I'm already dreaming of a longer visit next summer.

All photos from Sesame and Lilies

Rice Cottage has been in Jay Speakerman's family since 1847. The couple transformed it into a summer rental, adding all of the ease and elegance of Sesame and Lilies signature style. Vintage wallpapers provide the perfect backdrops for Diane's favorite rustic antiques and natural curiosities.

The Southwest Harbor cottage is available for rent between May and October.  You'll find more information in this Country Living article and on the Sesame and Lilies site.

Are you off to anywhere special this weekend or escaping to your own backyard?

See you next week! XO

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Holiday Weekend Reading: An Unexpected Guest

Looking for a good read for the last long weekend of summer? I just finished Anne Korkeakivi's An Unexpected Guest and couldn't put it down.

An updated retelling of Virgina Wolf's Mrs. Dalloway, the story follows the thoughts and footsteps of Clare, the seemingly perfect, if a bit bland, wife of a British diplomat as she plans a dinner party that could be crucial to her husband's career.

As Clare runs her errands in Paris's Seventh Arrondissement, we follow her down the Rue de Varenne and back in time as she recalls choices she made 25 years prior that have quietly haunted her to the point where the past seems to bleed into her present and she imagines she sees a man she knows to be long dead.

Korkeavkivi's depiction of an Expatriate's Paris is as complex and moving as that of her heroine, bringing to light a city that, like all of us, holds unexpected dimensions that can't be seen in a first, second, or even third look. Her description the Rodin Museum and the artist's The Burghers of Calais alone would make book worth one's time.

What will you be reading this weekend?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blue (And White) Monday And A Thank You

Hi everyone! How was the weekend? We soaked in every possible bit of blue sky knowing our sunny days may be numbered. I'm thankful for every single ray of sunshine.

I'm also thankful for the many connections I've made through blogging, and would like to say merci to the lovely Emily at Splendid Market for featuring a thank note I painted for her earlier this summer.

Emily and I worked together at Starbucks years and years go, and we live just a few blocks away from one another, but never met until we found each others' blogs. Emily shares my love of blue and white and is an ace tennis player, so I thought bringing the two together would be a perfect way to send her my appreciation.

A little blue and white always makes me happy. And since it's Monday and I'm a little blue to see summer winding down, I thought some more blue and white might make us all smile.


 My Illustrations

Happy Monday! Wishing you nothing but blue skies all week long. XO

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sailing Into The Weekend

"It's rather nice to think of oneself as a sailor bending over the map of one's mind and deciding where to go and how to go. The great thing is to remember is we can do whatever we wish to do provided our wish is strong enough." --Katherine Mansfield

Happy Friday, friends. Hope you are sailing into a lovely weekend, and that you are on course, wind in your sails, flying toward your dreams and wishes! XO

Images: 1/Vogue, 2/Vogue IT 3/Vogue, 4/Luxist 5/Norman Parkinson 6/Edward Hopper, 7/High Society, 8/Sabrina, 9/What About Bob?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Books To Love: The French Dog

"The best thing about a man is his dog." -French Proverb

I know that many of you live in France...if not in reality, then perhaps, like me, in your imagination and heart. And a few more of you are even crazier about dogs than you are about all things French. 

My Illustration 

In fact, one friend always photo-stalks Paris pups whenever she visits the City of Light (you know who you are). 

So I'm sure you'll love this book I stumbled on at one of my favorite Cannon Beach stores, Sesame and Lilies: The French Dog.

Animal photographer Rachael Hale captures charming chiens of all shapes, sizes and varieties--elegant city dogs, rugged country dogs, and posh pets living the life at grand chateaus. There's plenty of interior eye candy, gorgeous countryside photos and beauty shots of charming villages and Paris, mais bien sur. The only disappointment? Some of my favorites, Ghetto, Gibson and Ben, did not make appearances. 

Can you stand it? Those eyes. That lavender. Love.

U.S. readers can find the book here. And for you Francophiles who are more Cat People, Rachel Hale has you covered, here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From The Studio: Days Of Wine And Rosemary (And Lavender)

So besides building sandcastles, the other creative project that kept me busy over the past few weeks was designing and painting table and seating cards for an Auction of Washington Wines Winemaker Dinner, supporting Seattle Children's Hospital.

This is the fourth year my friend Laurie has hosted one of the Winemaker Dinners at her home. These events match some of Washington's best winemakers with top chefs from the area to raise money for Seattle Children's. Helping one of my favorite hostesses support such a worthy cause made for a fun project and a labor of love.

The Guest Chef for the evening, Holly Smith from CafĂ© Juanita,  has won acclaim for celebrating Italian cuisine and is committed to sustainability and local sourcing, so Laurie imagined a rustic garden of fresh herbs when she created her table settings. Simple and elegant bouquets of lavender and rosemary crowned each table, and to pair with them I painted corresponding table cards with numerals inspired by Italian house numbers.

Each seating card for the 51 guests was hand painted with sprigs of rosemary or lavender.

As always, Laurie orchestrated a gorgeous event. Chef Holly cooked up a to-die-for dinner and wines from Betz Family Winery, Chris Gorman Winery and Mark Ryan Winery paired perfectly. The weather also lent it's support, giving guests an excuse to linger well into an unusually warm Seattle summer evening.

If you live in the area, the Auction of Washington Wine Winemaker Dinner series is a terrific way to experience the talents of local chefs and winemakers in a private home setting while supporting uncompensated care at Seattle Children's. The dinners take place during the Auction of Washington Wines weekend, which is held each August. You can find more information here.



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