Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thankful for Thanksgiving

Me with my adorable cousins
I am especially thankful for this year's Thanksgiving, spent with family in my parents' home in Chattanooga, TN. Aunts, uncles and cousins drove up from Atlanta and Jacksonville and our house was filled with youthful cheer - four little ones ages 3-10.

For the first time in many years, I was blessed with the time and energy to help my parents thoughtfully prepare for the holiday. We browsed our favorite magazines and websites for recipes (many from Martha Stewart, Fine Cooking, Smitten Kitchen, and of course Garden and Gun). We planned ahead with serving spoons and dishes, and determined appropriate glasses for pre-dinner cocktails. We prepared grocery lists and to-do lists, with the intention of accomplishing as much as possible before the arrival of family, so we could enjoy their company and not stress in the kitchen.

The time we spent together was lovely and I am so grateful for the rich experience of it all. 

Cleaning out the kitchen drawers
Figuring out serving dishes for Thanksgiving
Breakfast time with the kiddos
Trip to the Incline Railroad up Lookout Mountain
Pre-dinner Cocktails
Thanksgiving dinner 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lavender Bridesmaids Luncheon Letterpress Invitations

Hello dear ones! I am way behind in updating my portfolio, but no time like the present to remedy that. A good friend of mine commissioned me last winter to design and letterpress invitations for a bridesmaids luncheon for her friend. I've started using 100% cotton paper, which makes a really beautiful impression. I love the simplicity of one pretty color with a vintage floral etching - a great solution for a lower budgets. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Home from the Appalachian Trail

Hello dear ones. I have returned from hiking the Appalachian Trail. For the last six months I have been outside climbing mountains, fording rivers, drinking from streams, eating from one small pot, and sleeping on the ground. 

In Georgia, I watched so intimately as the bare brown of March's late winter delicately blossomed into spring. As the weeks passed, the terrain changed and the weather warmed, and I hiked ever northward into the heat of the summer. In August in Vermont, I noticed a dryness to the leaves, an ashen green with a hint of gold, and then watched as Autumn crept upon the Maine landscape.

Never have I given so wholly and sincerely of myself. I truly lived outside in the elements and wondered at the mystery of life all around. When I reached the magnificent summit of Mt. Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, I was overwhelmed with joy - I had achieved my dream.

Upon completing the trail, after brief travels on Martha's Vineyard and Boston, I returned to my family in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I have thoroughly enjoyed being home, relishing in the luxuries of dry cotton and fresh food. Being domestic has a whole new wonder. I love hand washing my mother's antique silver spoons, sweeping the wood floors, pruning the geraniums, and baking cookies from scratch.

Slowly, I am making the transition back to my design and letterpress business. There is an extra sun room in my parents' house that I have been fortunate enough to turn into a design studio - more on that later. For now, I wanted to say hello after six months of adventure and share some photos:

Georgia in March (photo by Luke Costlow)
Overlooking a winter vista in North Carolina, (photo by Luke Costlow)
Pink Lady Slippers - the coming of Spring! (photo by Luke Costlow)
McAfee Knob in Virginia 
Lush green summer trail - Virginia in May
Rhododendrons in bloom, Virginia
I loved the abundance of ferns, Virginia
Sunset on Cold Mountain, Virginia
Shenandoahs, Virginia
Halfway point - Harper's Ferry, West Virginia
My first campfire, Pennsylvania
Campsite overlook, Pennsylvania
Sunset in New Jersey
Rattlesnake in New York
Nap-time tree in New York
Campsite in Connecticut
Morning view of clouds, Connecticut
Overlook in Massachusetts 
Sunset over the river in Massachusetts 
Campsite by a river, Vermont
Late July in Vermont, view from Killington Peak
Franconia Ridge, New Hampshire
Presidential Range, New Hampshire
Presidential Range, New Hampshire 
Crossing the border into Maine
Hitchhiking in Maine
Fording rivers, Maine 
Sunlight through the trees, Maine
Bigelow Mountains, Maine
Autumn creeping into the landscape, Maine
Whitecap Mountain, view of Katahdin, Maine
Beach in Maine
View of Katahdin from Abol Bridge, Maine
Mt. Katadin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail
Flooded with joy

Monday, March 19, 2012

Appalachian Trail!

Hello dear readers, wanted to let you know that I'll be away from the blog for the next four-five months as I hike the Appalachian Trail. I begin tomorrow and hope to finish by late July or early August. My dad will be keeping a blog with updates about my adventure, feel free to follow along over at

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gertrude Jekyll

Flipping through The Garden Book this morning, and was taken aback at the majestic wintery beauty of this image:

The garden designer was Gertrude Jekyll and I'm not able to find a photo credit. The location is Munstead Wood, a renowned garden in England. Such a soothing palette of cool blues & greys.. so dreamy

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side

Listening to Lou Reed this chilly New York morning. "Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side," he sings. You know what Lou, I will!

During the summers when I was 15 & 16, I went hiking, rock-climbing, & white water rafting on the Appalachian Trail along the North Carolina/Tennessee border. That experience lit a tiny spark and the dream was born - I would hike the entire trail.

I am setting out in late March on Springer Mountain in Georgia and will hike 2,175 miles to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. I will carry a pack on my back with everything I need to survive, and aim to keep my pack weight under 25 lbs. I will wake with the sun, walk all day, and set up camp again when I'm tired.

Incredible challenges await me, but as I strive to do in all aspects of my life, I will seek to find the joy & beauty (and hopefully some humor) in the situation.

Happy trails!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Barry White & Sunday Afternoons

Growing up, almost every Sunday began with shouting chaos getting ready for church. My family of six would pile into my mom's minivan, or sometimes we'd take two cars if one group had to go early, or a group was running late. After an hour of calm, holy, Episcopal Eucharist, the chaos started back up as we raced home to tear off our church clothes. We'd gather around the kitchen table for lunch, usually made of random mix-match meals, every condiment on the table, trying to clean out the fridge and eat up any of the week's leftovers.  The highlight though, was every Sunday in the late afternoon, my dad would light up the grill & turn on the CD player. Barry White's smooth melodies set the tone as thyme & rosemary chicken sizzled on the grill. Dad would drink a cold Miller Light & I'd pour a myself a glass of raspberry ginger-ale. My siblings, our friends, and our dear yellow lab Obie would walk back & forth from the house to the back deck to join Dad, as he reminded us to close the door, that he couldn't afford to air-condition the entire neighborhood. It was a perfect way to end the weekend, and look forward to the week ahead.

When I listen to Barry White now, as part of my love for the whole genre of Soul & Motown music, his music stands apart, as it is accompanied by such sweet memories of Sunday afternoons.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


So excited to be on the Martha Stewart blog today!! My friend Kristen was so kind to showcase my letterpressed Valentines for sale in my Etsy shop. I'm also happy to be participating in Poppytalk Handmade's "Love Transforms" Valentine & Weddings market this month.