Saturday, January 28, 2012

I am an unashamed reader of fairy tales and an unashamed book collector. My mom gave me my first  Coloured Fairy Books for my tenth birthday and she also gave me my most recent edition to the collection this Christmas. I have almost all of them after 16 years. They are a little easier to find lately as they seem to be in an upswing of popularity. I just can't resist a pretty book.

 via Folio Society

Monday, January 23, 2012

Coming Home

 Coming Home

I was thinking about coming home as an adult. There are a lot of young adults that are moving back in with their parents after college because they can't afford to live on their own, myself included. That safety net is very comforting, knowing that there are people that will welcome you back, even when by society's standards you're failing. But, it can also be incredibly infantilizing, to be taken care of, to be surrounded by the objects and the memories of past personalities that helped you become the person you are know, but honestly you would rather forget. There's always the potential to revert, to return to the half formed person you were growing up.

I was thinking about coming in from the cold to the warm glow of home, a warm glow that can blind and overwhelm you.

Finding a Way In

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I wanted to share a few of the beautiful and thoughtful gifts I received for Christmas. I know it might be a little out of season now, but it's been snowing for a week and I needed something to focus my energy on (seriously, with this much time off you would think I would be getting all kinds of stuff done, but mostly I'm just worrying about how I'm not getting anything done).

Clockwise from the bottom: 
Gorgeous handmade paper from my mom. Deckled edges make me swoon
Absolutely beautiful 150 year old edition of the complete works of Robert Burns from my grandparents.
Ceramic leaf plate, a lovely edition to my plates shaped like leaves collection (yes really) courtesy of mom again. 
A pair of pretty vintage pearl earrings from my sister. 
Handmade glass(!) knitting needles from mom.
A newer edition of Robert Burns from my grandparents (they remembered all the way back to this post and thought since we're part Scottish I would enjoy reading the work of one of Scotland's most famous countrymen). 
And a hundred year old edition of Oliver Twist from mom. She bought this one because it has an inscription in the front and she and I share a love of old books with handwritten inscriptions.

Sharing my Christmas gifts was also a great excuse to practice some still life photography and experiment a little with lighting. I'm trying to be more conscious of lighting in my photographs. Not that I wasn't before (every time you take a photo you have to think about light) but now I'm trying to control it a little more. I've been reading some about lighting techniques and the amount of information out there is overwhelming! It's easy to get sucked into the gadget vortex, but I borrowed this idea and made a couple of homemade soft boxes and they're serving my purposes really well for now.

PS: I started an Intrepid Hermit tumblr. It's mostly things I run across that catch my eye. If you're a fellow tumblr-er check it out and follow if you like what you see.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rising Sun Full Moon

Singles Korea   Rising Sun Full Moon  Model: Ji Hyun Jeong  Photography: Kim Youngjun  Styling: Eun Ji Jung  January 2012

Gorgeous. Feels like a life lived in luxurious wilderness. Influences from several different eras and cultures, picking and choosing only the most beautiful colors and textures from each. Photo shoot stylist is an enviable career.

(found via here and here)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Send Help! and a snow plow

It has been snowing here everyday for a week. I don't have any poetic thoughts to write about the snow. At this point I just want it to stop. I'm not a huge fan of snow to begin with, and this is just ridiculous. I took these photos in my neighborhood a couple of days ago when I went on a walk to the grocery store. I didn't really need anything there but it's the only thing within walking distance and I needed to look at something other than the inside of my house. One good thing came out of it though, these photos made me realize how huge the trees in my neighborhood are. That's one of the wonderful things about living in Seattle, where else can you get trees like that and still live within the city limits?

Thursday, January 19, 2012


When January creeps in and the stress and joy of the holidays and the excitement of the new year is settling into endless cold, dreary days of mid-winter, the need to escape becomes overwhelming. Unfortunately my bank account never agrees with my drop everything and run away attitude, so I settle for escaping into my library. This time of year my escapes are set in England, heavy on poetic language and beautiful landscapes, and involve sweeping, tragic romances (it's a curious preference as I usually prefer my own real life romances to be simple and straight forward).

Spring is for laying in the grass, flipping through Coleridge and Keats. Summer is for all the YA lit I'm not embarrassed to admit I love. Fall is for the non-fiction that brings back academic memories. But winter is for gorgeous long winded books that fill the long, dark nights.

Some of my favorites: Possession by AS Byatt, Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, Lorna Doone by RD Blackmore, Rebecca by Daphne DeMaurier, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (But honestly, pretty much anything from the Bronte sister's oeuvre fits in this category)

Where do you let your mind wander when you need to escape?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Johnson Berry Farms

Johnson Berry Farms jam is the best jam ever. Put it on toast, pancakes, in your oatmeal, lick it off your fingers, find anyway you can to put it in your mouth, it's delicious. It's also local and organic, so the Portlandia character in you will be proud. I recommend the golden raspberry and the marion berry. I wouldn't make special trips to Pike Place for much but for this stuff I will.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Snow in July

We're supposed to get our first snow of the year this weekend. It's late this year. But, the cold was late leaving last year.  Ski lodges in the mountains stayed open even after school kids were out for summer. An impromptu excursion into the passes last July found us on a hill that was soggy with melting snow. Big piles of it sat incongruous in the sun and overgrown weeds. I've never loved snow the way some people do. I don't like the way it silently piles up outside your window so that you wake up to find yourself essentially trapped by it. But I guess I like a day off as much as the next person.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Between the water and the woods

I'd been dreaming of this place for a long time but was to afraid to find it, I was convinced there was no way it could exist in real life. A rocky beach, cabins with old wood paneled interiors, a wind howling outside, mossy woods. Starfish at low tide, bald eagles fishing outside the window. We saw very little of our fellow cabin dwellers, they were few and seeking solitude themselves. The nights in the middle of the winter this far north stretch themselves out to 15 hours or more so I read hundreds of pages of books and wrote a modest number of pages myself. A detox from the stress of the holidays and a quiet moment to reflect on the past year and find inspiration for the new one.