Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What We See... A List For Summer

What We See....
 a List for Summer

The wonderful British writer, John Lubbock, once said that “what we see depends mainly on what we look for”.  A brilliant observation and one that, if taken to heart, can ease someone's journey through life by illuminating all that is splendid and good along the way.  It is indeed my experience that if I set out each morning expecting to discover beauty, navigating each bend in the road with my eye out for the delightful, well, that’s generally what I find.  Indeed, these expected surprises are, as is the title of one of Mr. Lubbock’s more well-known works, The Pleasures of Life.  

This particular summer is proving to be a glowing example of this approach to life for it seems that everywhere I turn lately, I am finding serendipitous joy.  The flowers in my garden have never been so lush, the vegetables are growing as though bewitched.  There are bluebirds that dip and dive in front of me as I stroll through each morning making me feel a bit like Snow White.  The normally hot humid summer of the South has ceded control to a much more temperate cousin who is blessing us with breezy, gardenia-scented afternoons perfect for open windows and the occasional nap.  The sunlight slides through the windows like honey.  Even Edward, generally a melancholy critic of summer weather, is blissful. 

So, it is time for a list of summer things.  
Seven small delights that have captured my imagination lately.
  I hope you enjoy them.
As usual, there are links included for your further exploration.  Have fun!

1. Wings

Artist Susan Hannon creates the feathers for these magnificent wing sculptures
 from the pages of old abandoned Bibles.
  They take my breath away.
See more HERE

2. Tents

Confession:  I’m not much of a camper.
  Maybe I’ve never given it a chance,
 or maybe I’m too addicted to hot baths and too leery of bugs.
  But this tent could, just possibly, change my mind. 
Isn’t it amazing?
Find it HERE 

 3. Pillows

Even though these days, I only lazily wade through the shallow end of design, I do still take on a client or two and therefore I occasionally come across incredibly beautiful things - things I cannot resist, things I like to share.  Recently I discovered a new source for perfectly exquisite pillows made from antique rugs and, no, I could not pass them up.  I even picked up a few to make available in my etsy shoppe.  They have wonderful colour, delicious texture and are blessed with a reasonable price point as well.  
Come take a look.
There are only a few available now, but maybe more later.
(Update:... Only two left!)
Find them HERE

4. Goats

In spite of the hurly burly, speedster pace of modern life... or perhaps because of it... a delightful change seems to be taking place.  More and more people, in unexpected corners of unexpected cities, are returning to a handmade life.  More families are cooking and baking.  More people are growing their own food.  Knitting classes are overflowing.  I have several friends who keep their own chickens and, as a grateful recipient of just laid eggs, I can tell you this is a very good thing indeed.
  One of my more irresistible neighbours has just added to her urban farm by four.
  Four miniature goats by the name of Oscar, Otis, Elmer and Gwynnie Dulcinea.
  They arrived looking eerily similar to tiny, hooved puppies and have now grown into the cutest creatures one could possibly imagine and will soon be helping out in the cheese and soap department of the farm.  
I spent an afternoon with them recently and fell utterly in love.  
Sadly, after a talk with Edward and Apple,
 my idea of adding them to our own household was firmly voted down.
But you can read more about getting some of your own HERE.

5. Bracelets

The Victoria and Albert Museum is a must see whenever one is in London. 
 This in inarguable.  
But I’ll let you in on a little secret.  The gift shop there is to die for.
  The jewelry alone is swoon-worthy. 
 This last trip saw me leaving with three new bracelets in my bag. 
 I have a difficult time resisting bracelets.  I love them. 
I love the way they feel on my arm, the noise they make when they bump into each other.  
This is the one I’ve been wearing most this summer.
I found it at Anthropologie and
 no one can believe how inexpensive it was, so I decided to show you all and prove it.  
I’ve got the white one, but the blue or the yellow look equally tempting.
Find it HERE.

6. Paper Criminals

Patty Grazini creates whimsical, achingly imaginative, art out of paper.
Her creativity is inspiring.
The lady shown here is one in her series of New York Criminals,
 featured in the New York Times between the years of 1885 and 1915.  
This happens to be Mary Largo, Queen of the Beggar’s Society who was arrested for graft.  
I thought you might enjoy this video of Ms. Grazini speaking about her marvelous work...HERE

7. Photographs

Large and unwieldy, it had always sat in my parent’s closet.  
We’d occasionally take it down and look through it, but hadn’t done so in years.
The big box of family photographs was legend in our family and naturally, it was the first thing 
I removed from the house in preparation for the estate sale last month.  
When I finally saw my way clear to go through it all, what treasures I found.
  Ancient pictures, wrinkled and creased, that we managed to restore to original luster
(like the one of my Father and me above).
Old negatives, never before seen, that, through the magic of a scanner, were released from their spell of silence. 
 Unable to once again imprison these back in the box where they’d lain for so many decades, I decided to create a new gallery of sorts in the hallway leading to our bedroom.  We set about finding equally memorable photos from The Songwriter’s family and framed them all.  It’s such a treat for us both to see these lovely faces smiling up at us each day, reminding us, sweetly, of the arc of life.

Surely there are some old photos you’d like to frame for your own gallery.
I encourage you to do so!

That’s all for now, but stay tuned for a Summer Reading List
as well as The Best of London.
So much fun!


  1. Your list is fascinating and you found some unusual treasures like the wings made of old Bibles and the bracelet from the museum shop.

  2. Well, I always enjoy your lists, but you seem to have outdone yourself on this one. Lots of lovelies to enjoy.

  3. It's true here also, lots of people with talent working at home. Loved that clip on paper art.
    The Museum shop's have wonderful gifts. If I could ever get to London, I'd want you to tell me the things to see. Enjoy your Summer, sending you
    love. yvonne

  4. It is years since I went to the V and A - but I love it - and adore that bracelet - I shall go to their on line shop and see if it is available by post.
    I do agree with you about finding all the good things in life.

  5. I love goats too and have sat for hours with them also! Visiting a friend in Sacramento area, she knew that I loved goats so she took me to her neighbors' house who was raising pygmy goats. Their were babies! It was Heaven!

  6. Love that philosophy, something we all need to remember! Great list, captures summer and delights in general!

  7. Seeing your photograph gallery reminded me of a program I watched last night on PBS where Prince Charles went through family photographs and movies from his mother's reign. It was fun listening to him "Tee hee" over childhood romps and reminiscing. I think you'd love it, and I recommend your watching if you missed it.

  8. Pamela,
    I love your take on watching for beauty in wonder each day and low and behold, finding it. I'm a firm believer of that very practice.
    The list is great. I really like the "book" tent and the bracelet, oh and the goats. I'd love to be allowed goats and chickens but the suburbia I live it has city codes against them. :-(

  9. Dear sweet Pamela, you've turned my day from a frenzied one, to calm and hope. My semi-wild Gracie had fled her paddock through an open gate early this morning and after a search and rescue, is back once again. I feel much better after your post. Thank you.

  10. I love the gallery of photographs. What a wonderful idea and those gorgeous frames! Who is the handsome chappie in the middle? And I love that pic of you with your dad. Beautiful pics. They all look very happy to be on your wall. :-)

  11. Love this! We were thinking a lot alike today. And I found a feather. N.G.

  12. Dear Pamela. I am so intrigued by your list and the images, Thank you for brightening my day!

    Giveaway by The Enchanted Home!

  13. I like the idea of looking only for the good things and will try to do this!
    It has actually been more summery here for a few days, I think we are all in need of sunshine in the UK.


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