Thursday, March 31, 2011

dear spring

please arrive soon.  we are tired of cold, rainy days...
sincerely.  juli + tula mirth
by juli

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

bowties come back

bowtie, by juli
i have a thing for dapper style and i have to say that the new love for bowties sits well with me.  i recently did a story on a raleigh, nc, company called lumina clothing company and they sell some pretty wonderful bowties.  i have included some of my favorites below...

  holladay's bowtie, $45.
the sunshine state bowtie, $45. 

the big bad wolf bowtie, $45

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

dolan geiman: contemporary art with a southern accent

i love the folksy, sustainable, mixed-media style of artist dolan geiman.  dolan, a native of virginia, lives and works in chicago.  his wife, ali marie, handles the business administration side of his artwork.  what a great husband-wife duo!  dolan's art is available for sale via his website, etsy, and various art events.

check out this charming interview with dolan on etsy's quit your day job.

dolan and ali marie also have a great blog about arts, crafts, cooking and decorating.  how do they find the time?

a peek at some of dolan's pieces...

the birthday party (cowgirl)

handmade paintings on reclaimed wood, only $45!  (look out honey, a couple of these may magically appear in the mail!)

made to order guitar cutout

Monday, March 28, 2011

thinking about beets...

i had a vegetable photo shoot to tackle yesterday for a book cover i am working on for a chicago author.  i bought an armful of vegetables for the shoot including one of my favorite photogenic vegetables, beets.  i took this photo of tula mirth holding the beets shortly before i quartered and roasted them.  yum!
beet love by juli
there are some great beet recipes out there including this 101 cookbook's roasted beet and blood orange salad with spicy greens, saveur's beet soup and butterflyfood's simple roasted beet recipe.

Friday, March 25, 2011

more letterpress love...

if you've been reading this blog for a while, you know i am a little (or a lot) in love with letterpress.  i think it started when i scoured the internet for wedding invitations.  sadly, the letterpress designs were the most beautiful and the most expensive!

at one point i decided i wanted to make my own letterpress printer.  fellow blogger juli and my husband sweetly jumped on board with my hairbrained idea, although we haven't had time to get started.  check out these instructions for a homemade letterpress printer.  seems doable!  have any of you ever done this?  am i crazy?

i keep coming across julia farrill's red bird ink, a wonderful letterpress shop based in atlanta. red bird ink was a runner-up in garden & gun's 2010 made in the south awards.

check out julia on her press!

courtesy of

some of my favorite designs from her shop...

eyewear flat cards 
(sometimes i wish i had an excuse to buy great frames like these, but i have perfect eyesight!)

red berries coasters

red birds stationery

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

a visit to the mile high city

dearest friends, i am in denver right now for a biz trip.  what a beautiful city with lots to explore!  i am staying and working downtown near the 16th street mall but hope to explore some more eclectic parts of town over the weekend.  red rocks, anyone?  i have been here about 24 hours and already had 3 great meals.  please send recommendations for eating, shopping, exploring, etc.!

maybe i should learn this...

denver neighborhood print by january jones prints

Monday, March 21, 2011

girls with glasses.

love this video, which is the theme song for the girls with glasses show.

 with brooke white, singer/songwriter, and summer bellessa, model and editor of eliza magazine.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

the quilts of gee's bend

i love the beauty of a quilt. we have quilts in my family that have been passed down through generations. when i was small, i remember my mother pointing to certain patches and telling me the story behind each of the fabrics on a quilt made by her mother. the history of a family of 15 was woven into that quilt with patches made from an old yellow dress my mother wore as a girl, or a shirt worn by a brother.  some old quilts i saw at the flea market yesterday started a thought about the significant historical and familial relevance of the art of quilting.

jennie pettway and another girl with the quilter jorena pettway, 1937.  photo by arthur rothstein/ courtesy of library of congress prints and photographs division

missouri pettway, 1902-1981. "path through the woods" (quiltmaker's name), 1971, polyester knit, 73 x 69 inches. courtesy of tinwood media.
the fine art of crafting a quilt has been passed down through six generations in the small rural town of gee's bend, alabama.  the women of this area developed a characteristic quilting style based on traditional american and african american quilts with a geometric simplicity suggestive of modern art and amish quilts.  the women continue to quilt through the gee's bend quilters collective.  the quilts now have international and national acclaim and have been in many exhibitions over the years.
annie mae young, work-clothes quilt with center medallion of strips, 1976; denim, corduroy, synthetic blend; 108 by 76.5 inches.  courtesy of steve pitkin/pitkin studio / tinwood books.
jessie t. pettway, bars and string-pieced columns, 1950s; cotton; 95 by 76 inches.
courtesy of steve pitkin/pitkin studio / tinwood books.

deborah pettway young, 1916-1997. one side of two-sided quilt: "roman stripes" variation, ca 1960, cotton twill, print, jersey knit, denim, polyester, 83 x 64 inches. courtesy of tinwood media.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

pico + googy

pico + googy, by juli

when i became a mama i suddenly had the desire to make a lot of things.  i started sewing and building and making food from scratch.  i suppose this is a very instinctual response as i know many others who seem to have started making things when they became mamas.  it is a pretty awesome side-effect if you ask me.  my creative life before tula was very focused and now it seems so much more open.
pico and googy are one of my early projects of plushies that i made when tula was a baby.  she named them when she was so small and she still adores them.  we are currently planning on making plushies based on her drawings.  i think this is a great way to preserve your child's art work and bring their imaginary life into the real.  i found another mama, lizette greco, who seems to be doing the same and she has some wonderful plushies made from her children's drawings.  she will even do custom-work pieces based on a child's drawing!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

a hand-carved gift

i'd like to share with you all this incredibly thoughtful and personal gift my talented friend elizabeth made for me using a beautiful piece of reclaimed slate. she has made numerous carvings as gifts for friends and even contributed a few pieces to an exhibit called local histories: the ground we walk on, which features over 50 american artists.  the exhibit is based on artist alfredo jaar's statement that "place cannot be global."

photos by juli

a very sweet gift, is it not?  makes me feel completely inadequate for all the times i have hurriedly purchased a gift at the last minute.  

bravo, elizabeth!

a band called wembley

fellow slow life blogger, tracy, is in a pretty darn good band called wembley and they have just released a new (downloadable!) four-song ep which is great, and not just because tracy is great.  the band received a shining review from a local publication and they deserve it.  the ep has a textured quality and surprises me with something new each time i listen.  if you are local or happen to be in north carolina this weekend, come check them out at the pinhook in durham for their ep release party saturday, march 19th, and please say hello!

by juli

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

lovely cookbook, lovely chef

by juli, courtesy of
andrea reusing of lantern in chapel hill, nc, will release a lovely cookbook called "recipes from cooking in the moment" april 5th.  the book includes andrea's trips to the farmer's market, shelling crabs with family and friends and beautiful food shots that accompany recipes.  i have photographed andrea over the years and she is such an authentic person who cares for her craft.  this book is definitely one to add to the shelf.  see pages from the cookbook at scribd or read a great article about andrea from september 2010 in food & wine.

by juli, courtesy of

Monday, March 14, 2011

what does pi sound like?

today, march 14, was officially pi day!

a few days ago, my husband's friend marcelo sent us an incredible video of musician michael john blake's musical representation of pi.  marcelo is brazilian and unlike anyone i have ever met.  he has the sweetest spirit and ends every sentence with "my friend."  plus, my husband says he is one of the most immensely talented musicians he knows.  marcelo came to america to study music and earned a master's in jazz performance at georgia state university.  now he teaches music at his kids' school in brazil.  a noble career choice.

this was also featured on npr today.  check it out...

i love it so much. people assume that music and math are 2 ends of a spectrum. not so. as a musician, i am always thinking about beats, patterns, and timing.

another cool example of music in the natural world...

dog love.

"like a photograph, she cannot say what she lets me see.  she is an embodied secret." - jonathan safran foer

franny takes her turn in the photo booth, by juli

i am a lover of dogs.  i have had a dog or two or almost every point in my life since i was a baby.  they are my companions, of course, but they awaken me to living: my sense of humor, play, compassion and intense loyalty.  my own daughter was brought home to a pack of large dogs and i made all the humans wait outside so that my pups could meet their new tiny person in peace. 

i added a new dog to our pack a little over a year ago.  she is the scruffiest little squirrel monkey dog you could conjure and her name is franny.  she was chosen by my daughter on petfinder and brought to us via a rescue dog transport from memphis. it was a dramatic entrance which included her appearance on the discovery channel (for three whole seconds) and i must say she is the most unique little creature i have known.  she is also absolute love to my daughter.  franny tolerates being dressed in clothing, runs alongside my daughter's bike and spoons at night.  (she actually climbs up the stairs of the treehouse bed.)  she sits still for whispered secrets and dances at our entrance.  the love and friendship of a dog is a special thing and is such a lovely piece of my own is a delightful thing to witness all over again between tula mirth and franny as they gracefully bridge the gap between human and canine.

bike ride, by juli

Sunday, March 13, 2011

a double-wide and a shipping container. home sweet home.

i love homes.  i love the beauty of an old house and the minimalism of a modern one.  i love tree houses and barns and airstreams.  i had a friend who once lived in a caboose which was converted into a home with a small kitchen and bathroom.  oh, how i envied him!  every time i stepped inside, that caboose took me back to a favorite childhood book, "the boxcar children." 
i grew up with two big brothers who also happen to be architects and some of this love certainly comes from them.  they taught me that not all houses are homes and that one could take a shipping container or two and turn them into an awesome home.

so with that, i'd love to share a couple finds from small house style which is about small houses, but also innovative design.  i found two lovelies from texas tonight including this double-wide which was converted into a pre-fabricated sustainable cabin built by urs peter flueckiger with his students at texas tech university.
courtesy of small house style

and the second is a converted shipping container (with a rooftop garden!) designed by jim poteet.

courtesy of chris cooper for dwell

Saturday, March 12, 2011

how to care for introverts

i found these nice care instructions via dorothy joy while scavenging about on pinterest. very applicable to kids and adults!  i am introverted and always interested in where others fall on the introvert-extravert continuum.  my husband is so extraverted!  he can talk to anyone about anything, which just amazes me. i like people, but need some alone time to recharge and get back to myself.
i am wondering if blog readers are an introverted lot...

i hope you enjoy a leisurely sunday, whether alone or surrounded by loved ones!

(beautiful violet bella photo for sale on etsy and pinned by christina)

oh anthropologie

courtesy of

the newest anthropologie catalog is beautiful, as usual.  i find rooms that i could only dream of within its pages and try to halfway mimic via my country flea market haunts.  i ran across an open letter by anna mantzaris to anthropologie yesterday via mcsweeney's and, well, it just sums it all up.

"Your little catalogue comes careening into our home every three weeks and suddenly I am dissatisfied with my life. Happiness flies out the window (sans Persian Velvet Curtains). You make me angry with my loving, live-in boyfriend, unhappy with our adorable dogs, and dissatisfied with our sprawling, albeit ramshackle, flat...

So after months of longing and lamenting, I took action. I knew I shouldn't have done it, but I made a pilgrimage. I braved the train, the crowds, the drizzly weather. I entered your doors and I stood directly in front of your Cooled Lava Dress (Oh, how very cool it was). I visited your Bay-of-Smoke Jacket. (You knew I always wanted to go to the Bay of Smoke!). Standing on your faux-sanded wooden farmhouse floors, amongst your clusters of light bulbs turned avant-garde chandeliers, I realized I've done it all wrong—the liberal arts degree, the MFA, the low-paying publishing jobs, the erratic freelancing and adjunct teaching... read the full letter here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

displaying kid art

i am working on my daughter's corner of the living room where i would like to create a gallery wall of her art over her desk.  i have found so many beautiful walls in my online travels and i certainly favor the look of frames although they may be a bit more confining for a rotating gallery.
aren't these walls engaging?

via Staci on Pinterest
there is the option of the wire curtain rod (which we have used) but it is not always pleasing as the art tends to sag pretty quickly and ends up looking messy like our refrigerator.  however, ohdeedoh does give nifty directions on a diy ikea wire curtain rod which is tempting.

courtesy of ohdeedoh

removable gallery corners from petit collage could pin down art but also make it easy to rotate at only $18 for a sheet of corner decals.

courtesy of petit collage
martha stewart provides diy instructions for a "wonder wall" which are made with magnet boards and foldout canvas walls.

courtesy of martha stewart

another idea that i ran across via opal never shouts is a graphic poster made from several scanned images of your child's art.  pretty clever and it could also make a great gift for grandparents.

courtesy of opal never shouts
make a wall mural with diy instructions via readymade magazine.  definitely not for a rotating gallery, but still pretty awesome.

courtesy of readymade magazine

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

a love story...

my husband and i are coming up on our one year wedding anniversary, and today i was thinking back on our engagement trip, which was sort of a honeymoon part 1. we flew to portland, oregon for a friend's wedding and spent the next few days driving down the pacific coast highway, ending in san francisco.

at the end of the first day of our drive, jay pulled off at a cozy northern california beach town called trinidad.  i had wanted to stop at every sign that advertised a scenic lookout, while jay was trying to hurry to get to this town by sunset!  we walked a little on the beach and sat on a rock (i was so nervous - by this time i knew what was coming) and jay pulled a ring out of his pocket.  he had successfully hidden it all weekend, carrying his little messenger bag everywhere and never letting me near it!  we managed to snap a few photos of the spot before our camera and phone batteries died!

it was the most exciting thing that ever happened to us.

the view from our rock
a view of the beach from a nearby hill.  our camera died literally right after this!

the next day we drove through the redwood forest and managed to get this decent photo of the two of us.  i think jay spent about an hour trying to get the camera perched just right on top of the car, press the button, run over, and pose just in time before the camera clicked.  normally, i would be impatient with this sort of nonsense, but i remember sitting in the haunting, spiritual silence of those giant trees and feeling totally relaxed while he fiddled with the camera.

we were like giddy little children on that trip, and i hope that never goes away.

we spent the end of our trip in san francisco, traipsing all over the city, usually ending up in north beach for coffee, food, and late night beverages.

we got married april 17, 2010, after which we continued our journey down the pacific coast highway from san francisco to los angeles...part 2.

i will reserve wedding photos for another post, but i should say that is how i met fellow slow life blogger, juli, our wedding photographer!  juli and her buddy tim snapped some unbelievable photos, and now she is my treasured friend.  here is a preview...

great southern documentaries on tour

courtesy of self-reliant film

the documentary, "for memories’ sake," caught my eye today because it speaks to the act of recording and appreciating your life...every single day.  a simple, yet amazing act of examining oneself.
the film looks at the life and work of angela singer, a southern homemaker who has taken an average of a dozen photos a day for the last 35 years, compiling an interesting archive of over 150,000 photographs of her daily life.  check out her "photos of the day" on flickr

the filmmakers, paul harrill and ashley maynor of self-reliant film, are on an 11-city screening tour this month as part of the southern circuit tour of independent filmmakers with a collection of short films entitled, "southern stories," that includes three films: the sundance award-winning short film, "gina, an actress, age 29" the itvs co-production, "quick feet, soft hands," and "for memories’ sake."  the films draw upon the filmmakers' tennessee roots and demonstrate their commitment to regional filmmaking.

if you live in the south and would like to catch the tour, there are still several dates this month.

the beatles complete on...ukulele?

music producer roger greenawalt is recording all 185 beatles songs on ukulele and releasing them via his website and itunes.  for real?  yes.  check out this version of "something" featuring casey shea on vocals.  it was recorded outside via ipad!

anybody going to south by southwest this year?  beatles complete on ukulele is one of the featured acts at south by san jose, a hip unofficial (and free!) sxsw event.

poster courtesy hotel san jose
south by san jose is hosted by austin's hotel san jose, an unpretentiously cool rock n' roll hotel and one of my favorite places in the world.  i love their minimal, laid-back style and i want my own home to have this feel.  if you are ever in austin, stay there!  or at least stop by for a drink on their patio.

photos courtesy hotel san jose

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