Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Slow life continued...
the garden
Giant sunflowers at the local grange fair, August 2010

Inside the exhibition hall
Hand knit: slow life.
Not first place, but a ribbon nonetheless.
It was the grange fair that motivated me to finally finish this sweater
which has been on my needles for, dare I admit, four years.

Reading outside on a summer day: slow life
stopping all chores and plans
devouring a book in an afternoon

That is just how I enjoyed Dominque Brownings's new book,
I absolutely loved it. It is a great follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love.
Browning continues writing about slow life on her blog,
of which I am devotee.

This idea of slow life brings me back to yesterday's Swan's Island post. The Swan Island newsletter reports on Dominique Brownings's visit to their studio. I encourage you to read the newsletter. click here.

The owners of the Swan Island Studio say this:

"Our approach for the past 20 years has been the same:
do things right, slowly and with love,
and the rest will somehow fall into place."

I tried to slow down these past two weeks. I was on vacation from the day job. The plan was to get my daughter off to college and then to work in the studio to prepare for the autumn MRR Design season. Sometimes things just do not happen the way you expect; life intervenes.

My true passion for creating things has nothing to do with what I do daily to make a living. MRR Design is my escape from my daily work routine. I create one object at a time, by hand. Nothing high tech about it. I am trying to build the business but it is hard to do 2 days a week. But I will persevere. I am good at that.

I will continue to pursue my passion at night, and on the weekends. Especially now that Miss Is is off to college, my days of daily, active mothering are over. Sad indeed, but exciting too. Life is evolving. It is thrilling and rewarding to watch Miss Is grow. I tried to do things right, slowly and with love as I raised Miss Is. I think it worked; Miss Is is blossoming into a young woman. Everything is falling into place. So now I have to work on myself, to do things right, slowly and with love. And hope it all falls into place.

I am trying to find balance. I am looking for answers. I am trying to rejuvenate my spirit because my happy demeanor has taken a few hits lately. So I scrapped the idea to work hard in the studio during my two-week break from the day job. I wanted to relax. To sit quietly. To think. Often my reverie was interrupted. But I kept trying. I simply sat down and decided to finish knitting a sweater that I started years ago. The goal was to finish by the grange fair. And I did. Slow life in motion. I started with skeins of yarn and two needles. Steady and slow like the turtle, then voila - a beautiful, cozy sweater. It is a bit short, but I am pleased. Every time I wear it, I will feel happy and accomplished. So now on to sweater #2, on the needles for 6 years or more. I am determined - it will be done by Labor Day.

Note the pink and white blanket pictured in the middle of this post; it looks like a Swan Island blanket. I found the blanket on Martha Stewart's now-defunct shopping site years ago. Maybe Martha was inspired by the originial Swan Island blankets.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beautiful upholstered chairs made from Swan Island blankets.

Read about Swan Island weaving here
Weaving - the process, from the sheep to the dying bin, to the loom, to the bed.
Slow life, slow process, and a beautiful result.

Read about the picture above here -
This room was part of a designer showhouse in Camden, Maine designed by Deborah Chatfield

The chairs remind me of my daughter's desk chair. I love the effect of using multiple fabrics on the same chair to create an object that is fun, happy, colorful, and functional all at once.
Slow, local, organic, are popular words these days.
According to the Writer's Almanac, Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse 29 years ago. Lots of slow motion there...slow cooking...slow life...
If you are interested in learning more - click here - go to August 28th entry.

LINKS - can lead you down the blog hole to new and interesting places -
just like this quote I read today on swissmiss:
"One aspect of serendipity to bear in mind is that you have to be looking for something in order to find something else." Lawrence Block

More on the idea of slow life tomorrow...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

To borrow a phrase from swissmiss: made me look

a bike on a bike,
a bike on steroids,
a bike on stilts...
we were stuck in traffic
and couldn't imagine how this guy would actually bike

we wondered whether he just pushed it around town for effect.
but no,
he ascended just like he was going up a ladder,
one foot here, another one there, then
he mounted just like he would a horse.
up and off
unfortunately no picture of stilt bike riding.
it was a sight to see though!
city life

country life
just as nutty
i saw a flying bicycle the other night
no, i am not crazy
it is the second time i have seen this contraption this summer
i tried to take a picture
but it was too far away
i googled it...you never know
this is what i found

Friday, August 27, 2010

How about this for a dorm room!
Imagine waking up and looking through this gorgeous round window.

another collegiate view
another round window.
Beautiful symmetry.

The closet.
Beats home.

In-suite bathroom
double sinks and a tub,
now this is living!

On top of all this,
there is a common room
with a fireplace
and two more windows.

Not bad for freshman year!

A new memento board for the dorm:
street map of Paris
perfect for my francophile.

We will miss our miss is but know that she is beginning a
wonderful journey.
xo m

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hard to believe, but it's time for the Autumn 2010 line
Here is a taste of what's to come...

just a few samples
I always buy too many fabrics
I simply cannot resist...

A fun fabric to remind me of a favorite summer pass time;
relaxed rides on bikes with the fat tires.

The design above reminds me of the ghost chairs
that are all over the
design blogosphere

I love the quatrefoil pattern
predict it will be popular

This shape is everywhere these days...
I did a post last year on clover shapes - click here

more of the sophisticated fabrics

and of course, mrr design must have lots of

and the graphics below are very special:
my friend Jennifer over at Sis Boom
named this fabric after me!

I am so flattered. I love the graphic punch!

Vacation from the day job is coming soon...
so is the departure of my dear miss is for college...
just one year ago this week we where touring the east coast looking at schools...
so glad that miss is will only be 2.5 hours away.