Friday, January 30, 2009

look quickly
what do you see?

at first glance i thought i was looking a fabric swatches
mmm artisanale collection 
as seen of ASVOFF

Thursday, January 29, 2009

a dream, a reality

Daily Candy Boston featured artist Katie Rowley recently
I checked out her art via her website.
The above letter is her web statement.

Make sure you save some your children's important creations.
Who knows who they will become.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Do you recognize the picture above?

My friend Jeanne 
Nantucket Mermaid 
did this fun Obama-like Cheer Up message for me.
I feel better already.
thanks Jeanne

I did a few posts on Jeanne last spring.
I drink my tea and coffee out of her mugs every day.
I love all her art - it is everywhere in my house.

The guy who created the Obama image went to RISD
go here and play around

Friday, January 23, 2009

I have got a case of the blahs

the excitement is over

the work is piling up (day job, that is)

I really want to hibernate

Sleep all winter and burn all my stored fat, 
then wake strong and thin in the spring

here is fun image that sparked some life into me:
i send it along to all the SMEG lovers i know

image from Swissmiss

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a picture of the pen that inked this:
here it is - President Obama's first signature as President
Great site - talk about change...bookmark this - keep your finger on the pulse

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The theme for Inauguration Day is "A New Birth of Freedom"
in honor of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth
Obama has been studying FDR's presidency, his first 100 days specifically.
This history is important as we navigate tough times. 


"The road ahead will be long.
Our climb will be steep. 
We may not get there in one year
or even in one term.
But, America, I have never been more hopeful
 than I am tonight that we will get there.
I promise you, we as a people will get there."

Barack Obama
Grant Park, Chicago, August 2008

I am baking a lemon tart to celebrate the Inauguration
"Lemon is considered the fruit that gives you the energy of the sun.
Some believe that when you eat a lemon, 
your body discharges an electric, positive force."
from Patricia Wells, At Home in Provence


FDR: Wikipedia
Obama: Elect Obama Campaign

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Day
 Join our President-Elect Barack Obama
in service to our country today.

"Renew America Together: A Call to Service"

One of the opportunities in my town
The local farm that I have written about many times before is organizing 
a food drive in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Be inspired by Dr. King's service to our country and to others."
Board of Ambler Farm, Wilton, Connecticut

The time is always right to do what is right.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Real integrity is doing the right thing and 
knowing that nobody's going to know
whether you did it or not.
 Martin Luther King, Jr. as paraphrased by Oprah Winfrey

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Michael Kooren/Reuters NYT 1-16-2009

positively frigid

at least I don't live in Chicago

but how I wish I could skate on those canals in Nieuwerkerk aan den Ijssel

You know it is cold when you hear the snow crunch as you walk and your nose hairs freeze.

Brings me back to playing in the snow, bundled in a red, puffy snowsuit, as a girl - the snow banks were bigger than I was.  It was the first time I noticed the nose hair freezing thing!

Friday, January 16, 2009

photo: Jane Brockett, from Yarnstorm blog

More on the Gentle Art of Domesticity.

and wrote about this book again a couple of days ago.

As is said, the b00k grew out of the blog;

it is constructed much like a blog:

short essays with beautiful photographs,

all centered on subjects relating to the gentle arts of the home. 

Stuff that i love - knitting, baking, gardening, sewing...

The author is another person who has a fabric fetish like me

and she loves some of the same books...books that don't appear on "must read lists" too often...
The author's career evolved from teaching to marketing, to academia along with motherhood and then to the world of wine.  I don't think that she imagined how blogs would transform her life once that of published author, photographer, creator of greeting cards...Jane Brockett talks about all this as the "art of the possibile"... read one of her recent blog entries  here.  It is amazing how life twists and turns... things don't always happen the way you expect and sometimes, as in Jane's case, one thing builds upon another and another and voila...before you know it ... IT HAS HAPPENED.

Photo: Jane Brockett from Yarnstorm blog
Collection of new greeting card collection of Brockett's photographs from Yarnstorm

Another blog that I read occasionally was started by an author who wanted to generate buzz for her new book... she did that and more... now she has a dedicated blog following and a radio show...and is writing another book.

Words from a young writer: "life-changing events generally arrive without fanfare, most happen subtly, gradually, and unexpectedly..."

My Pollyanna words for the day: keep plugging along, if you stay with it, things will happen... maybe not on your schedule... but if you can keep a stiff upper lip and a good attitude and adapt as things evolve or don't... it may happen... whatever it is, and if it doesn't you, at least you will be pleased and proud of your effort.  So don't give up the dream or the idea.  Stop, rest and recharge. Believe and do. Persevere.  
Photo: Jane Brockett from Yarnstorm blog

Sometimes you have to work at something else while you pursue a dream, stretching your resources and energy.  But if that's what it takes, then you gotta do it. 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We have adopted an austerity budget in our house.
Christmas was light...
and it was wonderful...

I needed a new insert for my day book
and look what I received from my darling daughter
a completely recovered filofax.
The old one was falling apart;
looks pretty good now.

plus the new insert
and double plus:
new address pages
with all my addresses and scribbles rewritten
in a wonderful hand,
by darling daughter.

Every time I check my book, I smile.
Simply wonderful.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some of you know that I like to knit.
 I am not a great knitter, but I do love it, 
even with all the frustration of dropped stitches, patterns gone awry...
there is a feeling: something pleasantly peaceful and relaxing, 
that comes over me.

I also love to read but don't have much time for it.  
By the time I am ready to read anything beyond a newspaper or a blog,
 it is time to go to bed and I simply nod off.
Last year I discovered a blog that combined these two loves:

The blog grew into a book.

This book is a delight.

Who wouldn't love a book with a cover like this?
Every night, as I tuck under the covers, I get a little treat.

reading a little bit is like nibbling on a sweet nugget 
hmmm good

I asked for the English version of this book, just because...
Fairy buns - that's what the English call cupcakes
Don't you just love it.
Imagine serving a plate and saying here sweetie-pie, have a fairy bun.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Liberty Post found this and posted it on her blog on January 10, 2008

A funny take on the popular WWII poster
that was revived in 2008.

Some might say 
the WWII poster was a tad overexposed last year. 
It made a few "what's in and out lists" at year-end, on the outs...

Olly did a clever remodeling job on the poster 
the message fits the times, yes?
I loved the original poster and the message 
and used it right here 
This rug was one of my favorites.
 Saw this on Alkemie, I think. 
I agree with Ms. Liberty: bad economy, bad.

I am now enjoying my annual hibernation.
Business has slowed down.
Started doing the books for 2008: YIKES.
Planning for next year.
Lots of ideas.
Lots of notes.

Most of all I am enjoying reading and knitting again.
More on all that later this week.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

We had an ice storm here in New England today.
Not sure where all these padres are skating...

not sure where I found the images either...
may on Diane Shaded View of Fashion...
 I was amused.
Looks like fun.
Twirling round and round.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I scored when I was matched with these two fellas at SCORE

Peter & Dan

thanks guys

SCORE, if you have not heard, is a national organization
of retired professionals who work as volunteers
to guide small business owners & entrepreneurs
like me!
The Small Business Administration provides funds to run this worthwhile organization.
I had my first appointment in September 2007
and met with Peter & Dan monthly at first.
Now our meetings are quarterly
because they did such a good job guiding me.

I started mrr design in 1990 
thinking it would be a good business 
to build while I was at home raising a family.  
It has always been small and 
I have always maintained a real job.

My products have evolved over time but
always in the decorative accessories category.

In the last two years I improved my picture frames and 
realized that I can really grow the business.
Peter & Dan have helped me define my goals and refine my business plan.
Maybe mrr design will blossom into something big one day...
after the deep, dark recession ...
until then, the real job is just fine.

Peter and Dan continue to grill me.
Asking all the right questions.
Making me think about all the jobs I handle at mrr design: 
 creating, manufacturing, selling, marketing, bookkeeping, shipping.
I have learned that I must use my time 
more efficiently 
more cost effectively too.
And still stay focused on the rest of life too!
That's what the deep, dark winter months are for...
settling in, taking a breather, taking stock of the past year.
Figuring out a way to work smarter.

If you have a small business and want some good advice try
ps. you can see my mailer on the desk
artwork done by pve design
the fellas gave me a thumbs up
now i just need lots of custom orders from 
designers & decorators 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

real or fake or combo or trompe l'oeil - 


(sorry forgot where I got these images)

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all
about you are losing theirs and blaming it on 
If you can trust yourself when all 
men doubt you
but make allowance for their
doubting too,
if you can 
wait and not be tired by
or being lied about, don't deal in 
or being hated, don't give way to 
and yet don't look too good, nor
talk too wise:

If you can dream --and not make 
dreams your master, 
if you can think--and not make
thoughts your aim;
if you can meet with triumph and 
and treat those two imposters just 
the same;
if you can bear to hear the trust 
you've spoken
twisted by knaves to make a trap for 
or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
and stoop and build 
'em up with 
worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all
your winnings
and risk it all on one turn of pitch-
and lose, and  start again at your 
and never breath a word about
your loss;
if you can force your heart and
nerve and sinew
to serve your turn long after they 
are gone,
and so hold on when there is 
nothing in you
except the will which says to them:
"hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and
keep your virtue,
or walk with kings--nor lose the 
common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends 
can hurt you;
if all men count with you, but none 
too much,
if you can fill the unforgiving 
with sixty seconds' worth of
distance run,
yours, is the earth and everything 
that's in it,
and--which is more--you'll be a man,
my son!

happy new year my friends
peace, love, health & happiness
xo m

goodnight 2008

image from design*sponge
12/11/08 diy project by kate