"O see, how brightly the universe gleams!
There is a radiance on everything;
you drift with me on a cold sea,
but a special warmth flickers from you to me, from me to you."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

the hunt

this is pretty much what's been occupying my time right now.  the glorious music of Mozart.  String quartet in b-flat major, nicknamed "the Hunt". 

Monday, April 4, 2011

artist anne packard in coastal living magazine

I was recently going through my old issues of Coastal Living magazine, and I rediscovered this profile that I just love.  It's an article about Provincetown, Massachusetts-based artist Anne Packard--I love her paintings, her home, and her lifestyle.  She arrived in Provincetown in 1975, newly divorced, with five children.  She began selling little paintings and soon came upon the opportunity to buy her 19th-century home.  From the article:  "'When I first bought this place and before I built that bulkhead,' she says, 'I could see the ocean come and go under the floorboards in the living room.  The upstairs bedroom still rocks in storms like a ship at sea, but living on the edge is a privilege.  Not a day goes by that I don't appreciate what I see.'"

I've recently started painting again--I was always drawing or painting growing up, and I enjoyed it so much, but it fell by the wayside when I began to get serious about music.  In the past several years, photography, especially Polaroid photography, has helped me stretch my visual-art muscles again.  Hopefully painting will become more of a regular thing for me.  I love painting seascapes, but waves are really difficult!  I want to fill my house with seascapes.
All images were scanned by me, from the December/January 2010 issue of Coastal Living magazine.  While I couldn't find the article anymore on their website, they do have this.  The writer for the article is Susan Stiles Dowell, and the photographer is Kindra Clineff.  For more on Anne Packard, visit the Packard Gallery's website.

Friday, March 25, 2011

places I'd like to live in...

The other day I discovered a tumblr called The Nomadic Sun.  The photos are all of rustic cabins, yurts, caravans, many of them quite old-looking and often populated by long-haired, shirtless hippie-types.  I got sucked in and spent a lot of time looking through the pictures.  Here are some of my favorites.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

the fish shack

In the summer of 2009, my husband and I got married and bought our house.  From the very first time I saw our house, I envisioned it as a kind of inland beach cottage.  It's got kind of a Cape Cod-style look to it, and inside it's so light and bright, with lots of windows and light bamboo floors.  I happened upon the July/August 2009 issue of Coastal Living magazine, and inside was a profile that was a major inspiration to me.  I couldn't find the article or the pictures up on the Coastal Living website, so I scanned the pictures myself--apologies for the poor quality.  The article is about a cottage on Long Island's Peconic Bay that the owners (Tim O'Brien and T.R. Pescod) affectionately call the Fish Shack.  Built in 1919, it's a classic Long Island beach cottage, with beaded board, original light fixtures, and approximately 1,200 square feet--it's among only a handful of original cottages on a stretch of North Sea Harbor, an inlet of Peconic Bay.  The simple, uncluttered, light and airy decor really appealed to me and was a big influence in how we styled our house.  And hydrangeas--oh, how I love hydrangeas.

all photos from Coastal Living magazine.  Photographed by Jeff McNamara, written by Gena Sigala.

Monday, March 14, 2011

what i want right now...

I've been wanting one of these for a while.  It's an Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner.  It scans 35mm and 120 film.  I'm convinced if I get one of these I'll get back into taking pictures with my Holgas and Dianas.  Toy cameras, like the Holga and Diana, take 120 (medium format) film, which is really inconvenient to get developed and to get prints made.  Any toy photographers out there?  How do you scan? 
Aren't these adorable? They're the Blondy by Anne Klein. I've been lusting after them for a few days now.  Not that I need shoes.  At all.  Really. 
This is the molded plastic rocker from Lexington Modern.  I've wanted this for a long time.  It's quite inexpensive, and I'm a little dubious of the quality for that price.  But look!  So cute! 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

tiny treasures from the sea

I'm learning how to use my new (used) Canon 20D.  The pink shells I found near Pacific City on the Oregon Coast, at Whalen Island County Park.  The teeny pink shells are everywhere on that beach.  The agates I found at Road's End beach in Lincoln City.  There, agate hunting can be a serious endeavor.  I asked one man, on his hands and knees near the waves, why he was searching for agates.  He said, "it's cheaper than therapy."
I have all kinds of treasures from our travels on display throughout our house, mostly on our windowsills and in blue Ball jars.  I've always loved tiny treasures--when I was a kid, I was always bringing home little rocks and shells and bits of beach glass.  Even now, sometimes I'll put my hand in my coat pocket and discover an agate I slipped in there on some trip or another!

Friday, March 11, 2011


a beautiful little window scene in a beach cottage, from Martha Stewart, pinned on pinterest by me!

Monday, March 7, 2011

one morning by the ocean #3 by philippe*
one morning by the ocean #3 a photo by philippe* on Flickr.

There is no place on earth as beautiful to me as the beach. Nowadays I live hours from the ocean, and when I'm away for too long, it actually starts to hurt, like a physical craving. Polaroid photography captures the magic of the beach like nothing else--I'd like to show you some of my very favorite Polaroids of the beach. These make my heart ache for the ocean, and truly capture the feeling that the beach inspires in me.

 by sleep, dream
a photo by sleep, dream on Flickr.
kudapola 131, takeoff by kudaphoto
kudapola 131, takeoff a photo by kudaphoto on Flickr.
mistysurf by isofoto
mistysurf a photo by isofoto on Flickr.
Awash by roostercoupon
Awash a photo by roostercoupon on Flickr.

Visit the ::beach polaroids:: group on Flickr for more beautiful inspiration.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

love me, love my NPR

When I was growing up, I would groan when my mom would turn on NPR.  What a monotonous drone, I thought.  But, somewhere in my early twenties, I discovered that I had begun listening to NPR myself.  And I was sucked in.  I loved it!  And I still do.  Ira Glass, Carl Kassel, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton (she of cool name and even cooler accent), Neal Conan, et al., these people have a significant presence in my life.  Ask my husband, when I had to go without NPR for a month or so (something to do with a kitty chewing up cords...) I got really cranky.  I never feel like I've heard the entire story until I've heard it told on NPR.  I can count on them for honest, level-headed coverage, which is rare nowadays.  Insights into things going on in distant countries that other news organizations neglect to report on.  And the arts coverage--I always learn so much.  Subjects that I was completely unaware of, or thought I would have no interest in, become riveting.  Plus, shows like Wait Wait Don't Tell Me and Car Talk are freakin' hilarious.  The world is absolutely a better place because we have NPR.

{NPR Valentines.}Click here to help save public broadcasting. 

I want to listen to NPR on this Crosley clock radio from Urban Outfitters, but they don't have it anymore.  Sucks.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Mount Jefferson purple wildflowers by polaroidmandy
Mount Jefferson purple wildflowers a photo by polaroidmandy on Flickr.  (That's me!)
My husband and I are thinking about planning a trip to see and photograph spring wildflowers.

The tough part is that it varies so much from year to year when the wildflowers bloom, and if it will be a good year or not.  Several websites update the condition of wildflowers in specific areas, as well as conditions that affect the blooms, like temperatures and precipitation.  Here's one for Death Valley.
This is probably my favorite wildflower.  It's a fairyslipper, also called a calypso orchid.  They grow in the damp, mossy underbrush and they're only a couple inches high so they're tricky to spot.  This one I found on a hike in the Columbia River gorge waterfall area in Oregon.

bear grass in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, Oregon.

My husband, taking in the eye-popping beauty of the wildflower display in the late summer at Mount Rainier.  Seriously, the flowers were breathtaking.  Words cannot describe.

My husband again.  As you can see, I like to take pictures of him taking pictures.  This is him standing in a field of glacier lilies in Glacier National Park, Montana.  Grizzly bears love to eat glacier lily bulbs, so depending on the time of day, hanging out in a place like this is actually quite dangerous.  Not in the middle of the day when we were there, though.  I'd be happy if I never ever live to see a grizzly bear in the wild.  When you're hiking through places like this, you can actually see big mounds of dirt that the grizzlies dug up when they were looking for glacier lily bulbs.

Where are your favorite places to see wildflowers?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

beauty products that I like a lot...

I'm really fickle when it comes to beauty products--I'm always searching for the perfect long-wearing foundation that matches my ridiculously pale skin; I dream about a natural-looking lip stain that lasts all day and gives my lips a perfect natural pink.  However!  There are a few products that I'm loyal to.  After years of trial and error, these ones I'm sticking with.

 Benefit Dandelion--the perfect blush for an extra-pale girl like me.  Such a pretty color; just makes me look healthy and awake and pretty, without looking really obvious.

 Clinique Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector in Invisible Light--I have oily skin.  I get shiny.  My pores on my nose are a little bigger than I'd like.  This stuff makes them disappear.  And I don't get shiny!  Really.

 Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo--I don't wash my hair every day.  There.  I said it.  I just have better things to do.  I used to use baby powder when my hair looked dirty.  Then I started using those dry shampoos that are in a spray can--those cans don't seem to last very long.  I like this stuff best.  It smells kind of lemony, or like lemon flavored Pez.  

Neutrogena Ageless Restoratives Anti-Oxidant Moisture, SPF 20--I don't know.  It's supposed to, like, defend your skin from the daily onslaught of free radicals or whatever, but it's not greasy, it moisturizes, and it's got SPF which is good for this pale girl.  I used to use Clinique Superdefense but this is significantly cheaper.  

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Spotlight Detangler--okay I can never find this in stores anymore and I'm pretty sure it's been discontinued.  Which is heartbreaking for me--when I get out of the shower my hair is a crazy rat's nest of tangles and without this stuff, combing is sheer torture.  I gotta start stockpiling.  

Fiberwig Mascara--this stuff is awesome!  It's pretty expensive and the tube tends to dry out pretty quick, but holy crap this makes my eyelashes so long!  I feel like a doll.  I actually haven't bought this in a while 'cause it's so expensive--lately I've been using Rimmel Lash Accelerator, which works pretty well, but Fiberwig is truly amazing.  Try it. 

Lastly, Weleda Everon Lip Balm--this is my favorite lip balm.  It's natural and it feels so good and stays on your lips for a long time.  You know what would be amazing?  If they made this with a little rosy tint!  Sigh.  My lips are so pale.  If I don't have any color on them, they kind of disappear. 

So.  There you have it.  What are your favorite products?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

our dog ben


Back in 2005, when we were living together but not yet married or engaged, my husband went out to pick up some lunch, and came home with a dog. Ben was a full-grown but still puppy-ish, skinny, shy dog who I immediately fell in love with.  He's become one of my best friends, the best dog I could ever have hoped for.  So incredibly silly and goofy but also so loving and soulful.  He goes practically everywhere with us.  (Except national parks, because they're not allowed anywhere except the campgrounds.)  He was at our wedding.  He wore a tie.  

My husband and I joke that Ben's just like me, but in dog form.  He loves the ocean and I swear he's happiest when he's playing on the beach.  He's silly and affectionate and kind of needy (like me).  

I can't imagine life without my Ben.  Those of you who are dog owners understand, I'm sure.  I'm just really grateful to have him in my life.