Sunday, October 23, 2011

There's so much encouragement out there to be on top of the new trend and the new technology--to embrace social media and allow it to transform your business, your life.

Is there potential in going the opposite direction as well? Can you make a business work without email blasts and facebook fan pages and twitter updates? I'm curious. Most of the design blogs and new business tutorials suggest that you cannot.

I don't want to be abreast all the new technological advancements, and I don't want to be a victim of the trends. It's too much pressure. It requires hours, even days of time to be spent researching and then purchasing and then over-communicating. And then the next day, the same all over again because it's always evolving. Where is the time to feel and think and create?

I keep thinking about something Ann Voscamp said at our spiritual retreat last week:

creative space comes from quiet space.

I love that.

It's probably a bit ironic that I'm posting this on a blog. I guess technology has its place.

Interesting related read: Waldorf School in Silicon Valley, where learning takes place without computers (shocking!)

Monday, October 10, 2011

More greatness from Thomas Friedman on the economy:
Neither party is saying: Here is the world we are living in; here are the big trends; here is our long-term plan for rolling up our sleeves to ensure that America thrives in this world because it is not going to come easy; nothing important ever does.
Sometimes the news is in the noise, like the Wall Street protests or the Tea Party. But sometimes the news is also in the silence. To me, the biggest protest in the country today is that when the Tea Party insanely blocked any G.O.P. participation in a Grand Bargain that involved taxes, most Americans were silent. Why? Because they didn’t think Obama was offering a big plan from his side, either — one that rose to the true scale of our problems and aspirations, one that would push us out of our comfort zone and make us great.
Read more here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I was troweling through the old family photo archives a few weeks ago, and found this treasure.

This is little Rachel. Check out the modest shorts, the bowl haircut (nb: this was her own choice), the SAVE THE EARTH tee, the large granny glasses (hello, stylish) and of course the Grand Champion banana bread.

Funny story: that banana bread recipe won grand champion at the county fair every time one of us kids made it. After we had each won once (and collected our $13), Mom said we couldn't submit it anymore. It was a blow to our yearly allowance of Harvey County Fair earnings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Great opinion post on Junk Food vs REAL Food. Read it, if you haven't already, and then get cooking!

Taking the long route to putting food on the table may not be easy, but for almost all Americans it remains a choice, and if you can drive to McDonald’s you can drive to Safeway. It’s cooking that’s the real challenge. (The real challenge is not “I’m too busy to cook.” In 2010 the average American, regardless of weekly earnings, watched no less than an hour and a half of television per day. The time is there.)

Read here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NPR is streaming Wilco's new album here.
h a p p y f a l l 

Greenland & Iceland.

This is where I want to go. Just to visit.
Isn't it beautiful? Almost other-worldly. 
It'd be a lonely place to live, though. 

Seen here. Photos by Lottie Davies.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


And that means a few things...

Wilco, on repeat.
Tennis tonight.
Windows open.
and next week... Winfield!      

Also, more snowmen Photoshop paintings for Christmas boxed cards.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Every year at work, as Christmas approaches, I am sent off on a search for the perfect "Wreath on Door" photo. It's the task equivalent to climbing Mt. Doom (I happened to catch a few scenes of LOTR this weekend; forgive the reference).

Why is it so difficult for photographers to capture this shot? It doesn't require anything special--just a pretty red door and a normal evergreen wreath with berries and a bow. Are they not aware of the high demand?

Let's look at some examples:
Hungry, oversized wreath Eats door
Dollar General on a budget
Everglades in England

I could go on, but your eyes probably hurt.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Fascinating article (NYT) about a woman who sews all her own clothing. The "slow clothes" movement, she call it. Unfortunately, sewing clothing is a bit more complicated than cooking your own food--but I can tell you from my limited experience that the rewards are tenfold.

How little we know about where our clothing comes from and who makes it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Most days, this blog is about consumption. New fashion, color trends, and things I want.

This really isn't representative of how I live my life. I believe in simple living--well, simplified living--and I try to practice it whenever I can, but I've noticed that sometimes the simple voice is drowned out by the loud clamor of advertising, comparing my life to my neighbors' (I mean that in the general sense if you girls are reading this blog :), and by my own "standards of living." My little brother is good at simplification, and making strides to become better. A few weeks ago, he posted some decisions he's made toward living a less consumer-oriented life, and it has inspired me to make a few changes myself. Here is my plan:

1. Walk to the grocery store.
2. Air-dry clothes as much as possible (difficult with city ordinances against clotheslines).
3. Grow my own vegetables, fruits and herbs as much as possible, and make every effort to preserve the excess I can find now in season on the farm.
4. Drop the gym membership and get up early to run in the cooler air.
5. Use linen napkins, cloth rags, and handkerchiefs.
6. Cut back on trash--especially nonburnable and plastic trash. Consider not purchasing things that come in containers that cannot be recycled or burned, such as yogurts, sour creams, cheeses. A great opportunity to make my own, right?
7. Make my own: laundry detergent and shampoo so far, but more possibilities include cleaning supplies and facial products if I'm brave enough.

This is a start at least--I have to admit that I've put off writing this post for several weeks because I wanted to test some things and see if they would work, or if they'd be too much trouble.

Finally, the extreme heat this summer has pushed me to action. When it's 105 outside and the air conditioner is running constantly--even set so that the inside of the house is a bit warm as it is--I can't help by be frustrated by the amount of energy and water I am using. Even more frustrating is going to work and freezing all day because of the air conditioning. What a waste. I have to make a difference where I can; I guess it's as much about consuming less as it is about taking care of the earth God created for us.

And since it's summer and we're talking about God's good creation, we should have a picture of Rocky Mtn National Park.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Beatrice should be featured on here. Although she'd be more of an 'overt' kitty.
(she has an unfortunate habit of staring)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gucci love #1: color-blocking with an excellent palette.
Gucci love #2: pant silhouette.
Gucci love #3: wild floral with feminine dress shape.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gold gilt mirrors are a bit controversial perhaps, but I like them. They add a touch of Marie Antoinette-era whimsy to an otherwise down-to-earth room, and they reflect warm light to create golden atmosphere. I picked one up in the little Newton flea market this April, and I do believe it has transformed my living room.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In a world where so many people now have access to education and cheap tools of innovation, innovation that happens from the bottom up tends to be chaotic but smart. Innovation that happens from the top down tends to be orderly but dumb.

“Carlson’s Law,” by Curtis Carlson, the C.E.O. of SRI International, Silicon Valley
read here

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I wish my summer looked like this.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Getting psyched up for summer here and here.
It's supposed to be hot here this week.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot.
In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken away from you."

-Oscar Wilde

I'm still working on finding the value of my soul riches,
but sometimes it seems that a few ordinary riches wouldn't hurt either.

-Kate Spade May collection

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Great ad campaign by Goodby, Silverstein and Partners for the WTA.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Would it be bad if I started a registry for myself and gave it out to various friends/relatives around my birthday and Christmas? Cause I really want a full set of these--maybe four of each design in white....

Thanks Rach for sending me the link!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I hope Alisa won't mind if I post one of her facebook pics--Arkansas was so beautiful tonight. The air was almost chilly, the critters were prowling and the insects chirping. It didn't really feel like the south...

...and to some of us, that's a good thing.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Easter from The Bluth Company.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

you wearing socks with your heels yet? sparkle-socks?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Life has been rushing by at record speed, with little or no time for blogging. But that's okay--blogging's just a silly past-time for me anyway. One of these days I'll share some of the big projects I've got underway, but until then posting will be sparse.

I've always wanted to do that--say that I have a big project and can't share right now, but will in the future? Heh. Big stuff in the works, ya'll.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Are physical address books a waste of paper these days? I know that my old one from high school days is full of scribbled out, dated addresses--people just move so much when they're young. When we went through my Grandpa's things this fall, I found the address book that he had kept for a long, long time. It was a diary of sorts, little notes here and there about the people he cared about and kept in touch with or the business connections he maintained. I'd like to have one of those too.

Anyway, I've been looking for the right book for a long time and this might be it. Only maybe it's too small? I kinda want it to be diary-sized and not too thin. I've got lots of addresses to fit in there.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Click the image to view this a bit larger, or the original link.

I love this map. It makes fashion make sense. Where do you lie?

I am the top right corner, hanging out in Relaxed Opulence with Ralph Lauren, Derek Lam, and my consistent fave, Michael Kors. Well, in my dreams....

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Is there an American Style? Do any core sartorial values run like shared DNA in the bloodstream of cowgirls and corps de ballet dancers, of Silicon Valley CFOs and Bronx stylistas straphanging home from law school on the B train?

Absolutely. This is a nation founded by pilgrims and pioneers--and just as our common history of hard-knock self-determination lives on in that famous American individualism, so it lives on in our wardrobes.

Practicality and comfort are dear to our heart... Clean lines, stripped of silliness, always sell.

This is the land of the free. We never stop moving--ever-forward, westward ho!--and demand to be able to really move in our clothes. This is the home of the brave. Trends come and go, but sportiness trumps snobbery in the end."
I read this in Vogue this evening. I came to the same conclusion while I was in China this summer. There is such a thing as American style; defined, it is casual elegance. Simplicity. Natural fabrics. Classic shapes and heritage brands. There are times when I envy the French their femininity, the British their edginess, the Hong Kong cuteness--but I like American style best of all when it comes down to it. You too?

Hooray for the Weekend!

Monday, February 14, 2011

I'm a big fan of the runway, but when I came across this image from Max Azria's fall2011 collection, I had to laugh. This chick looks like she stole my dad's chore coveralls.

I'm gonna guess that this look would make the man repeller list....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gratuitous cat photo.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

I just finished reading All the Pretty Horses.
It's a raw picture of Mexico in the early twentieth century. It makes my life seem so easy, so safe. Highly recommended reading.

Somewhat related: images from old Backpacker magazine, on Miss Moss

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Listen. Read. Eat. Snuggle under a blanket and paint some pretty valentines.

Stay warm, everyone! It's a snowday here.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Major hair inspiration. Gotta look at this every time I feel like chopping my hair off again. This is totally my hair texture too, it would be a breeze to style. Rock on.

Happy Monday everyone.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Painted my nails over the lunch hour in My Private Jet, for the first time since oh, 7th grade.

Probably just a reaction to working on Walmart's Christmas boxed cards for about the 5th month in a row. Rebel me, huh.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I can't get over how incredible this fireplace is--that dark wood with the exposed brick and the white, white walls. I think what makes it so striking (and the rest of the house as well) is all the contrast between the white walls and the heavy wood trim. It's lovely and actually quite classic.

I'm a little sad to see the neutral trend dissipate along with the great recession. I really like it. Great style and great design transcend trends though, and I think I'll hold onto the neutrals in my own house.

Friday, January 21, 2011

And by the way, Kate Spade e-valentines are up again this year. These are the best ever, people.

Will someone pleeeease send one to me?

I've been researching for work today, and have found the motherlode of childrens valentines.

What is it about V-day that brings out the puns? These little kid crafty-valentines remind me of the ones we used to make as kids--I think we got pretty creative, and I'm sure there were many terrible jokes too.... Also quite a few dinosaurs if I remember correctly. Those are my favorite.

Oh great memories. The thought of endless pink and red paper, doilies, glitter, and red foil hearts still inspires my soul and makes me want to create. You too?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just a dorky imac photo to show off my new Jayhawk-blue cowl. It's deliciously soft and warm and will substitute nicely for a blue tee at the KU game on Saturday.

Rock Chalk!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

From an oldish but excellent read on Mickey Drexler, JCrew merchandising mastermind:
“Success” is often just a fancy word for “luck,” but a recurrence of it suggests the subsistence of design.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"It seems there is nothing so dated as the recently new."

Great article from the WSJ. Long live the greeting card!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I love that Garance just posted about fake fashion.
This is a particular soapbox of my own.

Girl's on my side.

My own confession: I bought a fake Mulberry duffle when I was in China. The leather is gorgeous and the shape just makes you swoon--it's such a bag--but the zipper doesn't work very well and it's embarrassing to admit that I spent money on an illegal design. Never again.

There's such a thing as intellectual property, and just because you can make a rip-off doesn't mean you ought to.

... stepping down now....

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Links from my files (which I thought you might enjoy too):

Eleven top decorating trends for twenty-eleven: it's eerie to see how closely my life already mirrors these trends--and I thought I was loving things just because I loved them. Guess I spend a little too much time reading the blogs....

Winter haircare: doesn't this make you want to take better care of yourself for winter? I hate the dry skin problem, and this year have been making the most out of my humidifier and my favorite Aveeno unscented lotion.

Fieldguided: on loving what you love.

A cozy-looking stew: to make in the new dutch oven, only I think I'd go back to the original recipe. I much prefer kale to chard, and not so much beans and tomatoes, but I'm sure either way would be delicious.

First Listen: the Decemberists' new album! It's a different take on their normal sound, and it's good.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm not a very meticulous person, especially in the kitchen. More of an estimator, which sometimes results in lackluster results. It would probably be in my best interest to memorize Sprouted Kitchen's method for brewing french press coffee (but I probably won't!)
Today I'm wishing for insanely delicious butter on my fresh bread.
And to go back to New York.
Next trip's priority: dinner at Eataly.

click photo for credit.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm definitely experiencing peppernut withdrawl.

When I went home for Christmas, my siblings had just finished filling the gallon-sized Sun Tea jar with our favorite recipe; we didn't quite finish the entire gallon, but we came very close.*

I wish I had stashed some away to take back with me.

Good thing Mom hid the last loaf of stritzel in my bag.

*we all know that Rachel ate most of them.