for your valentine

I always have the best intentions to send holiday cards. This year I even bought holiday ornament stamps but I never found the time to get them in the mail! So now I'm going to make an extra effort to send out Valentine's to my clearly neglected family.

For those of you who want to send out Valentine's but hate the look of your own writing, check out these lovelies from Hello Handmade. Shanna Murray designed and illustrated these vintage looking cards and Betsy Dunlap will hand write a personal message to your sweetheart with her distinctive style of calligraphy.

a new space

This semester I gave my students the option to keep a paper sketchbook or to keep a blog "sketchbook". Most of them just looked at me like, yeah right. And then I thought maybe I was just giving them this option because I would have wanted it when I was in school. So, I've just started a new blog called a photo and a link. It's mainly a way for me to keep track of great artists so that I don't lose the names I've scribbled on scraps of paper and tucked into my back pocket.

five days a week

Today started out like any normal day. I took my recent orders to the post office, came home, checked the box. I'm awful at sorting the junk mail, but I love checking my mailbox in the hopes of finding an unexpected letter from a friend.

And then I checked my email found out that the Postal Service may be cutting service to only five days a week. On the surface it doesn't seem like this should be a big deal, but image not getting any mail on Tuesdays! This is such a sad prospect, especially for someone who makes stationery. I shudder to think of the day when I can no longer say hi to my mailman, who is so sweet even though Susie barks like a maniac every day at 11:45 at the sound of him opening the mailbox.

{image found here}

mmmmm, chocolate cake

I spent the weekend trying to fight off yet another cold and pre-celebrating my birthday with friends. On Saturday, Sara made me the most delicious triple layer chocolate cake covered with ganache and filled with mascarpone and raspberry goodness - yum! Then we went bowling with a small group at my favorite 8-lane bowling alley/bar. I hope that I can choke down enough Airborne to keep this cold at bay for my actual birthday, so that I can enjoy dinner with my sister at my favorite Ethiopian restaurant.

{image from thePhotoZoo}

Country Road

I wish I could pull off wearing a Country Road ensemble while teaching! I love all of the small details. But, I don't think they're so practical for a charcoal-filled drawing room. And I certainly couldn't wear them while printing. So, if you have some semblance of a desk job, I'd jump on these beautiful pieces.

"A page in American history is turning..."

A PBS commentator just said those fitting words and I couldn't agree more. I'm watching the Inauguration festivities this morning and thinking about how much changed the night we as a nation voted to stand behind Barack Obama. I really do feel as though I'm living in a history book and I can't wait to see what happens next!

Oh, how I wish it were spring! I'd even be willing to layer these great sweaters over something short-sleeved if it were a few degrees warmer. I'm lucky if I can make it out of the house without layers of fleece. It's nine degrees today, but feels like negative eleven. Burrrr!

Love these pieces by Urban Outfitters.


For the past few weeks we have been taking Susie to jumping class - think hurdles for dogs. Last Saturday was her final day and she was amazing! She even finished the hardest sequence - a triple jump - without Jake handling her at all.

It seems as though I'm back to blogging - nine times already this month! This wasn't a resolution, but it was something that I've been meaning to do a bit more. I really like having a record of my life, so that I can look back every so often and reflect. Until I started this blog I had never been able to keep a journal of any kind. As on this month I have been blogging for two years, and I've lived through many changes - some of them quite devastating and others that changed the direction of my life or made my heart smile. I can't wait to look back next January and see what surprises have taken place.

almost sold out

As a follow up to my last post, I wanted to let you know that our 2009 Collaborative Calendar is almost sold out! There are only three left, so if you've been procrastinating, now is the time to stop by the shop. When Tara and I were planning this year's collaboration, I had been a bit worried about printing 100 more calendars than last year in an unstable economy. But, I was soon relieved and happily surprised by our ever supportive buyers. Many thanks to everyone who purchased a calendar this year!

while you can

I love Megan Auman's work and own a few pieces of her gorgeous jewelry. As of January 31 she will discontinue her fine silver on steel line, so hurry up and buy them while you can! You can check out her Etsy shop here and her blog here. I really can't wait to see what she makes next!

a new floor

I've been obsessed with the idea of a new bathroom floor - a wooden one! A few years ago we had our bathroom floor tiled, and while it looked beautiful for a few months, the grout began to crack and eventually became stained. Our house was built in 1927, so I don't know why I would have expected the sub floor to be stable. Wood may not be the most practical choice, but I'm sure it would be beautiful and warm on my feet.

{images from Door Sixteen}

I'm one of those people who usually get a little down in the winter because Rochester has so many gray days. But this year we've had lots of beautiful snowy days. It just seems fitting that when the days don't get above 20 degrees we should at least be treated to a bright white dusting. Not to mention how much the girls love chasing each other in the snow!

Pasture Gate Gray?

I have the worst time choosing paint colors for our house! Every time I pick the color we repaint the room at least twice {dining room}, sometimes three times {bedroom, office}. I would like to paint our hallway gray after we strip the wallpaper. Jake loves rich, dark colors, but I'm afraid to go too dark. Hmmm...I have a feeling I should just let him pick, then maybe we'll only have to paint once!


Some of you might already know this, but there is a calendar giveaway for Hello Handmade taking place at Creature Comforts. You can check it out here and enter by leaving a comment about your resolutions for the new year. The comments are so inspiring!

{image by Shanna Murray}


My {semi-reasonable} list of goals for the new year.
This is probably pretty boring and somewhat lengthy, but I'm putting it out there so that I have more incentive to stick to it.

1. Spend more time at home. Last summer Jake and I instituted a monthly "weekend at home", where we would try to stay home to work on the house or just spend some well-needed time together. During this time we started a few house projects, but really didn't finish anything. I would really love to actually resolve these projects {home office, organize closet, etc} along with a few others this year.

2. Cook 2-3 meals per week. I used to love cooking and I certainly love to eat, so cooking at home only 2-3 times a week seems completely reasonable. There have been weeks in the last year that I don't think I ate a single meal at home, let alone had time to turn on the stove. I'd love to try out some new recipes and some of my favorites {cream-braised brussels sprouts} have been taunting me.

3. Get in shape. I joined the gym months ago, but have only gone to a handful of classes. I hate working out, but I really do love going to a few dance-type classes. My specific reason for this goal is that I'd like to be able to walk up the four flights of stairs to my studio without getting winded. I would like to think I can make 2-3 classes a week - the trick will be to actually schedule it on my iCal.

4. Organize my filing system. This is a biggie. My current system entails switching purses when one fills up with receipts and putting all of our snail-mail in a box for sorting "later". Obviously, this system doesn't work well when I need to file taxes or find our dogs vaccination records. I think I'm going to keep an envelope in my purse for receipts and empty it monthly into a folder. As for the mail, Jake is really good about sorting and shredding, so I'm going to enlist him to help with the filing once a month.

5. Keep in touch with friends and family. It always seems like it's easiest to take for granted the people you are closest to. I know I am quite guilty of forgetting to call friends back or working on my laptop when I should be joking about contestants during Survivor nights. Sometimes there are just too many deadlines, but sometimes it's just that I can't let go of my work. I'd love reinstate knitting night or weekly dog walking {my puppies feel neglected, too}.

I know that most people are making similar resolutions during this time of the year and I have few illusions that I'll be able to maintain all of my goals in the coming months. I can only try my best. I am comforted, though, with the fact that I love my life - I just want to make a few healthy lifestyle improvements. Here's to starting the year with my best foot forward!

a new start

Hello, new year! I love the beginning of a new year. It feels like there is so much potential - time to organize, clean the house, maintain my gym schedule, cook some good meals, reconnect with old friends. I know that all of my grand ideas won't necessarily hold through the year, but I love feeling optimistic about them! I hope this year brings you all much happiness and resolutions to spend time with family and friends.