and per se and per se and per se and per se and

I grew up with ampersands. Ampersands hung, ampersands perched, ampersands mounted on walls, shelves and mantles. 
Our house had them, both sets of grandparents' homes had them and even my dad's advertising agency featured one prominently in its logo. 
So maybe it's just because they were weened in to me, but I just love them. The aesthetic is perfect, beautiful in any font. And how can you begrudge a symbol whose only job is to join thoughts, people & words. 

 My only real wedding regret is that my searches for old ampersands were somewhat fruitless. 
But if you ever come upon one, I've got bookshelves and walls waiting.
  I could go on


(all images found on the inter-web)


Onesie Potato

In case you were wondering: yes, wearing an empire-ish waist dress to your wedding is a sure way to get half a dozen messages a week later, asking if you're knocked up.

Nobody's making a baby here (raise your hand if you think I could stand watching Drew drink wine in Italy alone).  However, I like baby things more than what Drew generically categorizes lovingly refers to as "pretty things" and I've had the phrase "Oh! Hello" in my head since the valentines.  "Oh! hello world" seemed appropriate for a newborn onsie. So, I decided to make some baby-gift stock on this chilly day. Also, my growing population of new-mom friends can correct me, but I think the handmade baby shower gift is really appreciated, if you can/like to.

It's also possible I had a potato that was going bad and wanted to make something (see: sprouts upon the potato, below).

Here's another plug for potato printing. It's easy and pretty satisfying. Except when you spend 20 minutes carving the potato, only to stamp, print and discover (again!) that you forgot to carve in reverse.

I'm showing you this carving to reinforce the point: Carve backwards. Every time. *

*This post, written by a woman who once sent her boyfriend, now husband, the insanely thoughtful romantic gift of a letterpress letter d for his initials dp, only to receive a letter in return stamped "bq".

Touché, everpresent lesson of reversed letters, touché.


Once upon a DIY wedding

A month back my favorite wedding dress designer spoke with my favorite wedding blogger and I got a lovely note (on my birthday of all days!) from Emily of Once Wed asking to feature our wedding on oncewed.com. Having poured hours and days and weeks into the collecting and planning and creating of our sweet little wedding, this was a pretty warm thrill in the middle of chilly February.

Here is our celebration, parts one & two. I can't thank Emily enough, not just for contacting me, but for creating such a well spring of inspired wedding celebrations. I was under-whelmed with the majority of wedding related magazines & websites. Then I stumbled on websites like oncewed (more of my favorites on the right side bar) and a new world of unique wedding aesthetics opened. And from them, tons of links to talented women designing their own unique celebrations. Blogging can be a little vacuum, and it's been fun to hear from friends and fellow readers (of the hidden, but increasingly main stream alternative wedding blogs). I can and can't wait to explore your blogs from the links you're sending.

Anyone who has tried to craft & design their own wedding knows that there's nothing quite like it. Especially if you're inclined to make things yourself. (Sidenote: This guest blogger on 100layercake created a fantastic spreadsheet for how to determine if a DIY project is worth it, I wish I'd had it). This blog gathers my inspiration and projects. Capturing some of the wedding projects was a natural addition.

Cheers to all for the collective dopamine and inspiration that new, found & created images bring!

(photo, my favorite from our photographer).



...or, "how I'm finally realizing the benefits of spending months pouring through antique stores in search of the perfect blue and clear bottles."

I rewarded my spring cleaning efforts with a bouquet of spray roses - the perfect fillers to a handful of the glass bottles I collected for the wedding.

I bough two or three antique glass bottles at a time throughout the fall, falling in love with the subtle differences in glass color, shape and the antique advertising of different potions and remedies in raised letters and decorations along the glass.

Not only do these make the sweetest mini-vases, it's an excuse to spring-clean the generic vases we have lying around. 

Wouldn't it be great if wedding rental businesses had vintage sections? (pssst, hi Grace!)


chop wood, carry water, love Vermont.

Even if you weren't born here, but especially if you were, Vermont starts a relationship with you, like a sibling. It gets in your bones and becomes an intractable part of your stories. Yes, it is cold and sometimes chronically uneventful, but behind hundreds of turns are farms, trees, lakes and heart-stopping color.

All this on a regular drive home. On a Tuesday. Minimal trespassing, required.

These pictures were taken a month ago, in February with a blanket of snow.  Now it's mud season and if she is supposed to have fun, our dog's paws are chronically dirty. The trees are waiting. The ground makes giant sucking or slipping sounds when you walk.  I try to clean.  Maybe that's an overstatement: I dream of a clean and inspiring space. Instead, I read an magazine article about cleaning.  In it is an old zen proverb:

"Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water."

At its most beautiful, Vermont is exquisite. But most days if we're supposed to have any fun, I have to  convince myself to take a break, cake my shoes in mud and go out into the sunshine; grab the dog and towel off her paws (an experience she detests); set aside illusions of the perfect house and take our home room by room.

It's still Vermont, I'm still in love.