Friday, May 22, 2015

Which Way To Your Happy Place?

Of course there is no place like home... but we all have our happy places.

Those spots in the world where we feel alive in a different way. That awaken, energize, recharge, relax and help us understand ourselves and the world a little bit better.  These places all speak to us in their own unique fashion... Paris inspires me creatively like nowhere else - the man-made sublime is so on display, from the art hanging in the Louvre to a superbly arranged flower stand. Sun Valley is beautiful not just because we tied the knot there but because it's so easy to be out in nature and breath deep and play hard. Nantucket brings quite contemplation and a slower pace. Drinks sipped on the lawn at sunset. The sound of waves on the sand.

I'll be away for a while, soaking in everything I can from one of my happiest of places. Hope you have a beautiful rest of the month! If anyone needs me, they can find me listening to the sound that clam shells make beneath bicycle tires on a path in 'Sconset.

Where are your happy places?  XO

Monday, May 18, 2015

Lemon Love

Sometimes you just get lemons! Like when your laptop has a nervous breakdown and refuses to download the photos from your camera. No Monday blogging as planned...

But we all know that lemons can be delicious and lead to yummy things (a few captured by my trusty iPhone). Like a casual Sunday supper that focused on the bright sunny flavors of lemon. Have you made Watson Kennedy Ted's Lemon Orzo with Feta from Style and Simplicity? So easy and delicious. A Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake from Round Pond Estate. Worth every drop of the entire bottle of olive oil you pour into it. A gray day so you can't set the table in the garden? That's okay, pretty peonies and a mix of casual dishes (vintage and new) that you can throw in the dishwater and your best silver, crystal and linens look as pretty indoors as out.

Happy Monday, all. Don't forget, if life serves you lemons, you  can always make them into something delicious! XOXO

Friday, May 15, 2015

An Early Spring Wander Through South Kensigton

Seattle's magnolias had long since faded when we left for London. What a treat to arrive in South Kensington and find that they had just started to bloom. A soft touch of pink against the graphic black and white facades of the neighborhood. A second chance at early spring. How lovely to wander and take in the vines and topiaries and brass knockers against ebony doors. All the pretty little details that make this such a lovely neighborhood to explore while watching spring unfold.

Back at home, the pink of magnolias and cherry blossoms have shifted to roses and soon peonies as summer announces itself. The steady roll of blooming things such a wonderful part of this time of year.

What's in bloom in your neighborhood right now? Hope you can get out and enjoy it this weekend! XOXO 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

An Invitation: To Consider Your Life's Path

 "You can't know how your life is going to turn out until you're living it"
 - Khaki, Dear Carolina

Kristy Woodson Harvey's character Khaki in Dear Carolina has it right - your path in life isn't revealed to you, really, until you're walking down it. Would 18-year old me recognize the life I'm living? Is it what she imagined? All I know is that as long as I could remember, I've loved to paint, and to be doing it every day now makes me feel pretty lucky. It was a bit of a curvy, non linear path, true, but I wouldn't trade a step I took to get here. Even the corporate years - I needed that time at Starbucks and Nordstrom to learn and prepare for the work I'm doing now. Designing a creative, self-directed livelihood hasn't been easy, it took 20 years, but most every step has been lovely, even when my feet hurt.

I'm inspired, though, by so many of the younger women I'm meeting now who don't worry so much about how to build a creative life - they just start living theirs. Like darling Katie Mitchell (pictured here) who lives in Paris, travels the world, and creates joy for her customers, and a living for herself, through her brilliant photography.  No stops for her in an entry-level office job, she's part of a new, entrepreneurial creative class who aren't so worried about traditional career paths.

To me, though, it's not about the path as much as enjoying your time in the garden - even when you're not sure if you are wandering in the right direction.

What about you? Would your 18-year-old self be surprised by the life you are living now? Did you always have a destination in mind?  

Do you feel like you've arrived on your path, or have you always been walking down it?

This post is part of our international blog party, By Invitation Only and will be the last gathering until the fall. Please take a minute to pop by and say hi to the rest of the gang, see what they have to say on the topic, and wish them a happy summer. You'll find them all on Splenderosa.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Julia Child's Rose: Like Butter

Of course the Julia Child rose would be the color of butter. A friend of Danielle and Bill Hahn from Rose Story Farm, Julia chose a bloom from their test garden to carry her name. Some even say it smells like butter. Hardy - the notes from Rose Story Farm call it bullet proof - and a frequent bloomer, it seems to have taken on some of Julia's personality. A garden dedicated to this lovely rose and its namesake is a highlight of a visit to Rose Story Farm. A bench from Julia's own garden is the centerpiece and I like to imagine that she sits there from time to time and smells the beautiful, buttery rose that bears her name.

Happy Monday, all! Hope you have a rosy week. XO

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Visit to Rose Story Farm


Instead of going to work this morning... instead of running errands or crossing things off our lists, let's pay a visit to Rose Story Farm in the Carpenteria Valley, just outside of Santa Barbara

Twenty five years ago, Danielle and Bill Hahn began planting garden roses on what was once a lemon and avocado farm. Danielle's memories of her grandmother's garden led her toward deeply perfumed old world varieties. The blooms they cultivate for their cut flower business are so different from the roses you might find at the grocery store, you'd hardly believe they are related. Fragrant and full, ruffled like couture gowns.  Today there are 25,000 bushes of them on 15 acres. Each one seems to have a story to tell. 

Really, you must visit, and find out what stories the roses will whisper to you. 

Have a rosy Friday, everyone! XOXO

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Santa Barbara Inspiration

Nothing like a change of scenery to inspire. Santa Barbara sunshine, a beach-view breakfast nook where brushes and sketchbooks could be put to work in the early morning hours. Plenty of pastel-pretty sights and rosy adventures. The most inspiring part? Lots of laughs and great conversations with kindred spirits. An annual girls trip with dear old friends from near and far is the ultimate spirit-lifter! This year, we found ourselves a house on the beach in Carpenteria. We walked the beach, explored Montecito, antiqued in Summerland and toured the most outrageous rose farm (more on that later). The long weekend went way too fast, but the memories will last.

How do you stay in touch with old friends? Do you find it's like no time has passed at all when you're together? 

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Back Friday with some more Santa Barbara loveliness.


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