Thursday, July 21, 2016

Project 365 - Week 6

Day 36 - This colorful mural was a happy surprise! I passed by it when I was out running errands on a humdrum sort of day, and it instantly brightened my mood.

Day 37 - I'm trying not to buy too many books these days, to be patient and wait for my local library to stock the books I want to read. But I'm powerless against the charms of a book like  Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World. I bought it a few weeks ago, and I've loved flipping through it and learning new words. "Szimpatikus" is Hungarian: "When meeting someone for the first time, and your intuition tells you that they are a good person, you can refer to them as 'szimpatikus.'" I know I have felt this before, most recently when meeting our next-door neighbors for the first time. :)

Day 38 - I noticed the setting sun cast shadows of cacti and succulents on our coral-colored wall, and I pretended for a moment that we lived somewhere in the desert, where the air is dry and nights are cool...as opposed to here, where the air is so close it will make you dizzy sometimes.

Day 39 - We spent the day with my brother and his family who were passing through town on their way to New Jersey. My niece, Maddie, made Peter and me matching bracelets, which we wore with pride (of course!). I can't wait till we live closer.

Day 40 - We went to the Renwick Gallery to see Wonder, and it was pretty spectacular. I wouldn't say no to having large-scale rainbow installations in my house one day.

Day 41 - My brother and his wife gave us a bunch of fresh peaches that they bought on the drive up. I made peach cobbler a couple of days later, and it was so good!

Day 42 - I took this photo on the 4th of July, which as you can see, was very rainy! In fact, it was so rainy that pretty much all plans (fireworks, barbeques, etc.) were canceled. When they announced that they were going ahead with the fireworks on the National Mall as scheduled, we drove to a spot across the river where we've watched them before, but visibility was so bad (and it was still raining) that I didn't even bother getting my camera out of my bag. I think they even aired a previous year's fireworks show on PBS because it was so hard to see anything. All that aside, I kind of liked how this photo turned out, so all was not lost. :)


I might do two posts next week to try and catch up a little, as it's now the 21st and I've only posted through the 4th. I don't plan on posting in real time, though; it's enough to remember to take a photo every day! And in all honesty, I missed a few days between last week and this week. I don't want to post a blank spot for those days--that seems silly, no?--so I think I'll just keep going as if I hadn't and not worry about it matching up to the calendar exactly.

I hope everyone is enjoying these long summer days. xoxo

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Project 365 - Week 5

Day 29 - After a day of violent storms, the sun finally peeked out from the clouds around 8 p.m.. I felt like I needed to get out of the house, so we went for a walk in the park and spotted a rainbow, which you can sort of see in the middle there. :)

Day 30 - I repotted several plant babies after I noticed they weren't looking so great. Actually, they started to look a little peaked almost immediately after coming home from the garden center, and I was bummed because they weren't cheap. But they seem to be doing better in their new pot, so we'll see.

Day 31 - Rain on the patio.

Day 32 - Peter brought home some tulip-shaped cookies from a bakery near his work. :))

Day 33 - We spent a Saturday afternoon by the river watching sailboats and listening to the kids play in the fountains nearby. The weather was gorgeous! (You can see the Capitol dome on the left.)

Day 34 - The next day we drove out to a lake about 30 minutes away and walked around the trail that surrounds it. I actually didn't really love the trail, but the lake itself was beautiful. I think next time we'll just rent some boats and row around the lake.

Day 35 - Still making smoothies almost every day, helps to balance out all the cookies. :)

As I was putting this post together, I thought, "Yep, that's pretty much what summer looks like around here."...lots of rain, lots of sunshine, smoothies nearly every day, and as much time by the water as I can get. Hopefully, we'll be going on a little road trip to see the ocean later this summer too.

Hope everyone is having a great week! xoxo

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Project 365 - Week 4

I'm a few days late posting week 4, not that it matters, I guess. I'm still taking photos; it's just finding the time to edit and post that's a challenge. I think I'll get back into the groove soon, though!

Day 22 - I love the way they painted this birdhouse at the garden. Give me all the colors and patterns, and I'm happy. :)

Day 23 - I got back some prints from a roll I shot last summer. (It's probably time for another SOOC post soon!) I love to get prints in the mail; it sort of makes me fall in love with film all over again every time. I've started browsing used 35mm cameras online again, as I've had my eye on a few that I'd love to try out...if only they were cheaper! Photography is not a poor woman's hobby, that's for sure.

Day 24 - We randomly find things from the kids next door in our backyard from time to time...usually when Peter mows the lawn. This week's finds were a half-deflated ball (or dog toy?) and a tiny shoe.

Day 25 - I love this pretty ivy-covered entrance, don't you? Most houses in Old Town are right on the street, as they often are in very old towns with small lots, but these people are lucky enough to have a bit of a front yard.

Day 26 - We went for a walk by the water at twilight, my favorite time of day, and it was blissfully uncrowded and quiet.

Day 27 - I made some chocolate chip cookies using a low sugar recipe I'm still working on. I basically baked my way through winter, and amazingly enough, did not get tired of being in the kitchen! I'm still at it fairly regularly, though I've cut back recently since it's been so hot out.

Day 28 - This was the day of the Strawberry Moon! Did you guys see it? I can't remember ever seeing the moon so big and so pink in my life! Unfortunately, I did not get any decent photos of it. We were out when the moon started to rise, and I only had my phone with me. I tried different photo apps hoping one of them would work, but the moon just looked like a tiny, white blob instead of the huge and gorgeously pink sphere rising in front of us. So I turned around and took a photo of the pink sky opposite, which was still very beautiful, even if the moon stole the show.

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July yesterday! It was a total rainout here, but I know everyone still enjoyed a day off. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Project 365 - Week 3

Day 15 - Currently reading The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford. I read The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters years ago when it came out, and I'd wanted to read one of Nancy's novels ever since. I finally picked this one up the last time I was at the library, and it's exactly as I thought it would be: clever, funny, and kind of dark. I definitely recommend it if you're looking for a summer read!

Day 16 - Packing up this fly mug to mail to my Dad for Father's Day (pun intended). He loved it! (It's part of the Hook Line & Sinker collection from Wild & Wolf if anyone's curious.)

Day 17 - Sat outside on the patio for a little while to enjoy the sunshine and noticed our lavender is looking quite pretty! We don't do anything to it, and it grows and grows. I think it's one of the easiest plants to maintain. (I know lavender is recommended for warm, dry climates with mild winters, but we live in a humid, wet climate much of the time and have had horrible winters with lots of snow the past few years, and the lavender remains unfazed.) The bees and butterflies love it too!

Day 18 - Spent much of the day in bed in the haze of feeling awful. (Thanks for all the well wishes, by the way! I think I'm finally getting better, slowly, but surely.)

Day 19 - Long shadows in the afternoon, listening to the kids next door play outside.

Day 20 - I'm in the process of a major wardrobe overhaul. I've taken bags and bags to Good Will, but I've held on to some pretty dresses and blouses because I thought I might do a sale. Has anyone bought or sold anything on Depop or Storenvy? Is it worth the trouble?

Day 21 - Going through my felt stash to see if I have enough to finish an order I'm working on. I looked down at this stack of scraps and noticed an abstract pattern forming, like layers of peeling paint.

Happy almost weekend, guys! We're finally supposed to get some good weather here, and I'm planning on getting outside and enjoying it! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Project 365 - Week 2

Here's my second week!

Day 8 - Opened up a package filled with colorful washi tape, and it made my day. I should order more "office" supplies because they make me so happy and more excited to tackle my to-do list.

Day 9 - Making tacos.

Day 10 - Decided to take off this old painting and try to reuse the frame after I found a bunch of canvas rolled up in a closet. After removing all of the staples and getting everything ready, I remembered that we don't have a staple gun...at least I don't think so, but I could actually have five hidden in the shed. Anyway, more half-done projects! Yay!

Day 11 - We have honeysuckle growing all along our back fence, and I couldn't be happier about it. Honeysuckle is one of my favorite scents! I'm always looking for candles or perfumes that capture it, but I've never found one that truly did.

Day 12 - I'm all about trying new fruity drinks this summer, and this cute label caught my eye.

Day 13 - We spent what felt like the entire day driving to IKEA (and running a few other errands), and when we finally pulled into the driveway, I grabbed my camera and ran out to the backyard to capture the last light before the sky went dark. It's my favorite time of day to be outside, but I wish it wasn't mosquitoes' favorite time of day too.

Day 14 - A new print for the kitchen came in the mail! We're doing a little redecorating and sprucing up around here. We've decided not to repaint the pale green kitchen (a gift from the previous owners), so I decided to find artwork that would match it a bit better.

I'm still going strong with Project 365, but I'm not gonna lie, this past week has been tough (I'm a little over a week ahead from what I've posted). I've been really sick and like, "What can I take a picture of that isn't in bed (where I've pretty much been living) and without having to move?" I did putter around the house a bit and take photos of things other than the duvet or my feet so I feel pretty proud of that lol. I'm kind of wondering if I should skip a few days and pick it back up when I feel better and can actually leave the house, but for now, I'm sticking to it.

And on a related note, this current plague is also why I haven't started my 100 Day Project of illustrated notebooks yet. I've been struggling just to finish up orders and complete commissioned work, so I need a few more days to catch up before starting that one.

Hope everyone is having a great week! xoxo

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Project 365 - Week 1

Project 365 is going pretty well so far. I'm actually two weeks in already. I still sometimes forget to take a photo till late in the day, but I haven't missed a day yet, so that's good! Here's week one:

Day 1 - Making my to-do list in the morning. One of these days I will actually cross everything off.

Day 2 - Peter and I went for a walk in the garden after he got home from work. We stopped every now and then to investigate all the new things blooming. These pink peonies were my favorite.

Day 3 - Made an eggy pie for dinner with sliced avocado and sourdough bread.

Day 4 - The end of a very long week. Peter and I curled up to watch Netflix, and I burned this candle called Windmills and Tulips, a very sweet, spring-like scent.

Day 5 - We walked under a canopy of blooms and twinkly lights unexpectedly on the way down to the river. We got ice cream, met some sweet puppies, then headed back home to watch a movie.

Day 6 - Went to an antique store looking for a few things. Came away empty-handed, but I loved this vintage espresso set.

Day 7 - Picked up some new plants at the garden center. Pardon the mess of random things in the window. I'm doing some rearranging in this room and there's stuff everywhere.

Hope everyone is having a great week! xoxo

Monday, June 6, 2016

New Projects!


Remember when I said I was back to blogging? Hahahahaha. No really, though, I am back! I might not post as frequently as I used to, but I miss it so, so much. I love to look back at old posts, even the ones that are slightly embarrassing, and remember what we were doing, where we were living, and all the little odds and ends that make up daily life. It makes me sad to think I've missed half of the year already.

With that in mind, I've been thinking of ways to motivate myself to get my camera out more often and post here as well. Two challenges came to mind that I see on Instagram all the time: the 100 Day Project and Project 365. Is it crazy that I think I want to do both of them at the same time?

100 Day Project - I struggled to think of something I could make and complete daily for 100 days, and also something that I wouldn't get sick of quickly. I used to be the type of person who would keep reading a book I didn't like until the end, or stick with a job I hated, or whatever. But I have a whole different attitude about that now that I'm older and have realized my time is too precious to waste on things I don't enjoy, that don't add value to my life or to the lives of others. So I really thought long and hard about what would be worth the time commitment. And suddenly the answer was so obvious! I'm going to make a hand-drawn or hand-painted pocket notebook every day and list it for sale each day as well. That's a manageable amount of work to add to my load at the moment, and I love the idea of having something tangible to offer people. I also plan on taking requests for what to draw at different points in the project so that people can participate too!

Project 365 - I've actually already been doing this one for a little over a week; I'll share my first week's photos soon! I plan on taking at least one photo a day for an entire year. I probably won't skip days even if we move or travel, etc. I'm a little undecided as to whether to post every single photo here though. I'm currently working on a few things that aren't ready to share, and most of my family and friends don't want their photos public. It will be a challenge to find something unique to document each day, but I'm excited about that! I'm hoping it will inspire me to take a few minutes out of each day, notice my surroundings, be present, and find something interesting to "say" with my camera. I guess I'll just see how it goes...if people enjoy my photos, then I'll keep posting them each week.

I'm giving myself a little leeway with both projects in that it might not be 100 or 365 consecutive days. If I miss a few days here and there, it's not a big deal as long as I make them up. I think I will probably post the notebooks daily on Instagram with the hashtag #100pocketnotebooks and do weekly posts about the project here. I'm hoping to start posting them in a day or two (I've got a big order to finish up first).

I just want to say I've missed all of you who've been reading here over the years. I've had emails from a few folks wondering where I've been for the last few months, and I just want to say thank you so much! I'm happy to be back. :)

xo,
Mary