Feelers and Light

 

My passing thru St. Helena and the open hours of this store finally aligned last month. The window display marked with a mysterious "M" always caught my eye but it was always closed, which probably only fanned the flames of my wanting heart. This time I walked up to the door and pulled the handle, and instead of resisting against me as usual, it opened easily, and so too did my heart crack wide open. 

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I took the photo above as I was leaving. I remember feeling complete and utter awe of what I'd just seen and taking a photo was all I could do. Complete and utter amazement, wonder, and incredulity. The curator of this store had taste that was out of this world. Each piece of furniture, jewelry, light, or object make a statement. Either it was a bold statement made with delicate materials, or it was simply bold and unassuming. Nothing was purely beautiful without also being a little large, slightly weird, kind of funny, which gave it a kind of honesty. Every object was novel. I couldn't get over how I felt, like I just witnessed something. Have you ever felt that? The kind of open ended clarity that opens your eyes to a great, glorious possibility? I knew that I had seen a light. I knew that I'd met my desire. And now I have to do something about it.

I came across this photo in my phone and decided to post it. Then I decided to write a caption. Then I decided what I was going to write. Then I looked up the store online to see if "M" was short for something. I discovered that I'd heard about this showroom before; that it belongs to a local interior designer named Erin Martin that I'd researched in the past because she was the designer who staged a home that I'd been in and found so perfect that my husband and I decided to get married there. I had no idea of this connection to Erin Martin all those times I'd driven past the showroom, drawn to it, finally pulled in and impressed upon. It may not be the strongest connection, but I know enough to trust that it only takes a millisecond to make another. 

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So I'm here putting a feeler out there in the universe, a grand gesture in its own right, and may it help me find my way. And a feeler to Erin Martin, if she would ever entertain a conversation with me about her work, I am ready to listen.

Humming Along

Things have been busy over here! Last time I wrote it was summer and now it's autumn. I do love this season, though. It's the best season for the senses—you've got the brisk air in your lungs and softer textures on your skin, the piercing afternoon light juxtaposed with the aroma of steaming hot drinks, and pops of color are having their last hurrah—you can't go wrong!

I'm enjoying a new role at work but it comes with constant juggling and prioritizing. I'm learning a lot and finally my professional career path is steering a little closer to my personal interests and some day they'll be one and the same, a topic of discussion between J and I lately.

And that brings me to our kid (everything brings me back to that kid). Our son just turned 8 months recently, and I find myself having to stop and look him over for a few minutes. I examine him head to toe to remind myself that he's growing right before my eyes. I can't believe he came into my world only this year! So recently that I can vividly remember what my life used to be like, and while I miss some aspects of the past, I've never been more excited for what's to come. Heck, I'm totally going to be one of those moms that has pre-bought birthday presents stashed in the closet until he's of the appropriate age, starting with a wooden toy bear and a huge ship kite. Some people invest in the stock market; I like to invest in his smiles.

Side projects are also picking up. Speaking of kids, I've been asked to style another kids apparel photo shoot, this time with a fall theme. I've got less than a month to construct a set, acquire and craft all the props and plan the shot list as best as possible. I'm also working on designing a top shelf beverage label and a destination wedding invitation for some very good friends. 

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Yes, the holiday season is always busy, as I'm sure you all agree, but it feels like a particularly bountiful one this year. I've got lots to be thankful for, and I'm looking forward to getting in the festive spirit with la familia: upholding the old traditions and sprouting the new!

 

PDX Day 1

Portland has moved to my Top 5 Cities in the US.

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Canoe 

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Heart Coffee

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Marine Layer, San Francisco

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Will Leather Goods, Oregon 

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Blue Star Donuts

I wasn't sure what Jason would like so I got two donuts on a spectrum: the Blueberry Bourbon with Basil one was the employee's favorite and the Sugar and Spice Cake donut was recommended as the least sweet donut.  Jimney Crickets, the Sugar and Spice one is worth writing home, your boss, AND the President about. It's a perfect combination of texture, depth and aftertaste -- aftertaste being something I don't know many chefs consider. I'm laying here in bed still thinking about it. I've decided to get another half dozen before we fly home.

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Boys' Fort / Solabee Flowers

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I got to spend a whole day doing something that I love in a new city that I love with someone that I love. Just me and my kid, who by the way turns 5 months tomorrow! He learned how to shake his toys and how to turn 45 degrees while on his tummy -- which might be the first sign of crawling! No more laying him on the bed unsupervised, I guess. Growing boy...

Kamakura home

To preface: Jas and I are going to Japan and Korea in a month (eee! still have to book hotels!) and I am so looking forward to being completely inundated with inspiration. And perspiration. It'll be the beginning of the hot summer months, the only time I've ever visited Japan so I don't know any better. It's also my first time to Korea and Jason's first time to Japan, so we'll take turns playing tour guide!

I could go on about how big of a fan I am of The Selby and his work, but the primary reason for this post is to share one of his features, the bright seaside home of Hitoshi Uchida-san and his family in Kamakura, Japan.

Been thinking about where to go and I wish we could tour this home while we're there. As I study to be a stylist, I realize that this kind of personality and life history is one-of-a-kind. Lifestyle is a genuine existence that can't—and shouldn't— be reproduced. The best I can do is absorb and enjoy the experience, and draw from it for inspiration. What I see in these photos is my dream: A beach house in a small town of Japan. That, or to be Todd Selby himself.

all photos by The Selby

Aside from daydreaming about stalking people in their homes, this weekend we enjoyed the warmest weather in the bay so far. To offset the cost of eating out Friday and Saturday, I rushed around the kitchen for three hours, prepping two meals from What Katie Ate to enjoy throughout the week. 

A rich, slow roasted pork and red wine ragu, and a pork, pumpkin (butternut squash) and sage canneloni (lasagna). Three things about the canneloni: 1) I used butternut squash because I couldn't find a pumpkin and I used lasagna noodles because I didn't want to use too much ricotta for a stuffing; 2) this recipe is waaaay too much for two people, and I tried to invite people over but no luck! Guess it's lasagna week, and 3) I'm determined to learn how to photograph lasagna as appetizing as Katie does. It's got to be the hardest thing to food style!

I shredded the pork this morning before work and I am so excited to get home and make worth out of the fifteen thousand steps of the recipe.

Happy Monday!

Sunday mornings: Flapjacks

Woke up wanting to do something nice for J and pancakes were the first thing to pop into my head.

It's the first time in a long time that I made anything so, of course, I had to document it. I'd also gotten these little spoons from Umami Mart just the other day (photos to come), so breakfast turned into an impromptu spoon shoot...

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