10 September 2013

Saturation // Celebration

Here on the North Sea, rainy season has arrived with an umbrella-warping zeal that's hard not to be dazzled by. Out walking the dogs after dinner tonight, I exchanged nods of solidarity with the other pedestrians and cyclists, all of us momentarily united in our startled sogginess. One girl had a mouthful of laughter, audible over the sheets of water hitting the tops of parked cars. 

08 September 2013

An Affable Muse: The Author

christine stocke
I may be the worst (ever) at keeping in touch, but I at least mentally visit the people in my life quite often, whether our last rendezvous was yesterday or a year ago. In the middle of my very routine lovefest the other day, I was suddenly blindsided with admiration.


I know some crazy talented people. And I had the sudden urge to call everyone I know on a rotary telephone, one by one, with a fervent, "CHECK THIS OUT!" But it's, like, the middle of 2013. And I have a blog. So I'll do this the efficient way and introduce you to, in no particular order, some terrifically creative folks you should go virtually visit. Or personally visit. But call first, or it might get a little restraining-orderish and weird.

Today, meet Christine Stocke. (I imagine all of you doing the AA thing right now... "Hiiii, Christine.") I knew her as Christine Stroik in high school. We come from the same Wisconsin town of 30,000 but managed to mostly avoid each other, for no spun reason, really.

Fast forward to 2012. I got an email from her saying she was moving to Den Bosch, an hour and a half away from my front door. In the past year, after a wildly successful first date, we've found that we're unsettlingly alike. Wonderfully quirky and thoroughly genuine, she loves improper humor and good food, making her a supreme being in my universe. We should have had ourselves a platonic pal commitment ceremony of sorts a long time ago, but I guess we can't blame our fifteen-year old selves, who didn't know anything about anything.

But I'm not here to tell you how great Christine's personality is. This lass can write. Her poems and fiction have been picked up by a number of notable publications, including the 2012 Best New Poets anthology, which is a pretty huge honor. Visit her young blog to get in touch (and see photos of a massive, old dictionary that came loaded with random peculiarities stuck between the pages), or her Etsy shop for signed pieces, or to request a custom poem or short story.

07 September 2013

Quickies, Through Time and Space: The Forgettables

So, I guess this is kind of a series now. I'll go with it, and officially replace my Sunday Snippets posts with Quickies ones. These "in-between" moments are so sweet and capture my days so perfectly that I feel the need to share some of them, not just the ones I've perfectly focused on and framed.

02 September 2013

On the Cusp of Autumn, A Triad of Thing-Lust

red raincoat
one: This gorgeous Stutterheim raincoat, in red. Part of my obsession with Stutterheim is the unique and intimate self-image the company has (its tagline is "Embracing Swedish melancholy at its driest"), and the feeling I have that if this brand were a person, we would get along quite nicely and have much to talk about, under an overhang somewhere, sipping something steaming, in the middle of a rainstorm. The other part is the product itself. I've never found a raincoat I actually wanted to wear, one that is classic in design, well-constructed, and bucks the trend of hi-tech performance gear. Until now. And, as we enter rainy (and chilly) season here in Holland, this one goes to the top of my list.

"Melancholy shouldn’t be confused with depression. Melancholy is an active state. When we’re melancholic, we feel uneasy with the way things are, the status quo, the conventions of our society. We yearn for a deeper, richer relationship with the world. And in that yearning, we’re forced to explore the potential within ourselves – a potential we might not have explored if we were simply content. We come up with new ways of seeing the world and new ways of being in the world... Embracing rain is a good start." Read more here.

pendleton blanketPendleton Blanket
two: Either of these Pendleton blankets (links here and here, respectively). I very literally have been dreaming of owning one, as the coolness of the changing season begins to creep into our nights. The classy 104-year old company just opened a flagship store in Milwaukee last weekend. In an old firehouse. Seriously, Wisconsin friends, check it out. Our families are conveniently located near Milwaukee, so you can find me there in late December, drooling and fondling beautiful textiles. 

Void Watch
three: This Void Watch, because the color combo and kicky design get me every time. (And the free worldwide shipping is pretty super.) I imagine the only problem with buying it would be that I might get hit by one of the gazillion modes of transportation in this city because I wouldn't be able to stop ogling the thing.

Stay dry, warm, and on time, happy people...


01 September 2013

From Napoli, with Love: The Sweetest Trifecta

Neapolitan Party
While you were busy singing "I scream for ice cream!"I went home and whipped up two batches of the stuff: strawberry rosewater, and vanilla bean. And a chocolate cake.

I've never been a plain vanilla ice cream person, but David Lebovitz' recipe turned my stubbornness on its ugly little head, bean by crunchy minuscule bean. I followed the recipe exactly, except I doubled it. Because not filling my ice cream maker to capacity is a sin I just can't commit. And then I hit the repeat button but added boiled-down fresh strawberries, scaled down the vanilla, and tinged it with rosewater. Add Nigella's flourless olive oil chocolate cake, and I had a ramped-up, multimedium version of one of my favorite childhood ice cream flavors.