Sunday, May 31, 2009

Last day of May

and as the rain falls, I say goodbye to those May flowers...
buona domenica,
have a great Sunday!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Listening

When I finally made the choice to pack up my life and travel 5,000 miles away from everything I have ever known, I suddenly panicked. Would I be able to sustain a full life without the constant attachment of my family and friends, let alone entirely in another language?

“Listen and attend with the ear of your heart.” Saint Benedict

I have thought about this so many times during my 4 years here in Italy. Life takes strange twists and turns, we never quite know how, when, where, or why…but there always seems to be a reason. I just decided, if I listen to my heart, all else will follow.

So now here I sit, in my little house on the hill that was built so many years ago, that has welcomed so many lives, that has thankfully been visited by my loving family and friends, that has watched new friendships blossom, and I think…yes, I am really glad I listened.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Camomilla

It has been forty days since Easter, Pasqua, (how times flies) and we have just celebrated L'Ascensione, the Ascension of Jesus into heaven this past Sunday. This also, here in Tuscany, is traditionally the time of chamomile, camomilla, when the flowers are harvested and dried to make a variety of things, and one of my favorites to have at night, tea.

Yesterday morning we happened upon a field littered with poppies and chamomile flowers and could not resist snapping some up for ourselves. In addition to tea, I have heard it can give your hair a hint of sunshine…I will let you know how it works…maybe I can save on highlights this summer?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend

so lazy...cut some roses…lounged in the sun…ate some pears…read a book…danced saturday night away…bought pastries on sunday morning for a special someone…strolled through an antique market…sat in the piazza with a cold drink…hope you all enjoyed your weekend as much as I did!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Venerdi'

Come walk with me on a Friday morning, venerdi' mattina...
"Walking is man's best medicine." ~ Hippocrates
Sure works for me...

Song

Don't you just want to fling open these doors and break into song...or maybe I'm the only one?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Gluttony

The Tuscans are famous for celebrating every aspect of life with good friends, abundant food, and a nice helping of wine. Since I moved here, I feel as if I have been celebrating more than ever before…let me tell you what we did this past domenica, Sunday.

To mark the end of the hunting season and to thank all of those involved, teams get together and plan a game fueled lunch. Now, these are not just your ordinary lunches, these are feasts…for the eyes, nose, and not to mention, stomachs. Our lunch started with a plate of antipasti…this included some crostini, little toasts with toppings, and affettati, slices of prosciutto and salame. The next course (il primo) was pasta, tagliatelle al sugo di cinghiale, wild boar sauce. This was followed by yet another pasta (il secondo primo), penne all’amatriciana, spicy pork and tomatoes. Are you getting the picture? The fourth course (il secondo) was cinghiale in umido, stewed wild boar. The fifth course (il secondo secondo) was capriolo in umido, venison stew. The sixth course (il terzo secondo)…no I am not kidding…was roast beef con piselli, the same roast beef you are used to with peas. The seventh course (il quarto secondo) was agnello con insalata, oven roasted lamb with a side of salad. You would think it finished there, but the Tuscans are also famous for their love of dessert. We were then served a beautiful torta di frutta, glazed fruit cake with a piece of crostata di marmellata, marmalade torte. They then came around with grappa, moscato spumante, and finally un caffe’. After at least four and a half hours at the table, I decided gluttony may not be such a bad thing after all…but afterwards, a little walk on the mountain doesn’t hurt either.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Che fai di bello?

There are some phrases used here in Tuscany that I just find irresistible…they convey so much in simple words.

che fai di bello?...what beautiful things are you up to? One of the most relaxing things to do when you need some time off is to sit in the piazza on a warm day and watch the world go by.

mi piace da morire…I love it to death…this walk with this view lifts my spirits and makes me feel as if I am on top of the world.

sei bella come il sole…you are beautiful like the sun…when someone or something warms you like the sun…because we all know how much I adore the sun.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maggio in Toscana

I truly believe there is no location on earth that illustrates May 'maggio' with more passion than Tuscany…and I just feel so lucky to be here to experience it. From the velvety poppies and yellow buttercups to the wheat and wild orchids, every day blooms with more color than before...as if the landscape has been painted by one very enthusiastic artist.

All those April showers certainly did bring May flowers...and for me an obsession with trying to catalog every single one of them. Great stimulants to create new designs.

I have been so inspired...I even decided to plant some for myself.

Hope you are enjoying maggio as much as I am.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Letting Go

We have a starling "storno" that comes back to our house every year to nest. When I say our house, I literally mean IN our house. This little creature seems to have found the perfect hollow in between our 600 year old stones. Every spring I watch her from the window swooping into the hole with straw and branches. As time goes on, little peeps of hunger begging mommy to bring treats can be heard. She diligently goes searching for the perfect morsel, usually an olive, a worm. Then one day I look out the window and I see six perfect little birdies bouncing on the lawn. She proudly nuzzles them and as if by magic, they are off into the world…gone.

“…some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go…”

I used to mourn for her, after all the work she has done, all the love she has given, in an instant…it is gone. Then I learned the cycle...the moment she lets go, she begins again…searching for straw to repair her nest and planning for the next brood. Sure enough, after some time, I begin to hear the peeps. Amazing the wisdom that can be garnered from this one little creature...I need to pay more attention.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gratitude

I have been putting a lot of thought towards this journal lately, and with this thought has come an unexpected feeling of contentment. You see, I have been following others’ lives for some time now…taking, but not giving back…and I finally feel I am offering something here (if only to myself)…a new appreciation of my own world. I see things differently, I am energized, creativity is flowing, and surprises are around every corner.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

Last October my light was rekindled for me and it continues to awaken day by day. I am grateful to Kelly Rae and Mati Rose, as well as, Suzanne, Katy, Lela, and Diane. Women who inspired me, challenged me, encouraged me, listened, and opened my eyes. I look to my girl 'Tutti' for inspiration daily.

Thank you also to those of you who have been following this…I hope you continue down this road with me and are entertained…at least for a moment.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Surtex 2009

Unfortunately, I will not be able to fly over the Atlantic next weekend to exhibit at Surtex, the annual Art & Design market in New York. Yet, I thought I would give you a sneak peek of what I have been creating in the studio.
"...the best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas..."

and boy do I have a never ending stream of them. I will be offering this and much more at the Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market in July. Perhaps I will see some of you there?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Spending the days...

taking in stunning views while being a spectator at a dog competition...surrounded by the endless chatter of not just dogs, but also Italians.

drooling over the lusciousness of the poppies that are sprouting up everywhere I turn, and adoring that the yellow dotted fields show no signs of retreating.

meeting new friends, traveling to wine tastings in the country, and getting caught in hail storms.

amazed that a positive of all the rain we have endured is the egrets that have begun to make their home in the midst of the abandoned farmhouses that dot the landscape.

wishing you could smell this divine elderflower blooming in the front yard.

endlessly laughing at a funny little thing that thinks she rules the roost…she does, but don’t tell her.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Simplicity

It is the simplest of things that make me happy.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spent last evening...

video

listening to birds chirp and whistle trying to drown the cuckoo’s koo and imagining the gossip…

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