Sunday, August 21, 2011

Farm to Table

What a perfect weekend for a farm to table dinner. Arte and I attended an Outstanding in the Field (OTIF) dinner at Westport Rivers. Nestled among the vines and overlooking a pond as the sun set, was a table for 200. That’s right, 200 people!

OTIF travels around the county reconnecting communities to the land and the origins of their food by sourcing locally grown products that are then cooked by local chefs and artisans. It’s a true commitment to spreading the word about supporting sustainable agriculture. 

This memorable dining experience made me think of summers gone by. How people at one point ate; healthy, off the land and together, right where the food is grown. 

The simplicity, charm and setting provided an abundance of photo opportunities. Although there are two photo opps I am sad to have missed. The first, their bus, which broke down. And the second was the table prior to dinner. OTIF’s site provides photos that dreams are made of. If you’re need of a daydreaming break, be sure to check it out.

Oh, and yes, the food was good! All five courses of the meal were served with an abundance of fresh vegetables, different wines from the vineyard and beer from Pretty Things (what a fun name for a beer company). Dessert, which I will argue is one of the most important parts of a meal, was a lavender biscuit drizzled in lemon curd with berries a plenty. [yum!]

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Time to Harvest

There’s a season for all things and as the summer days start to fade into fall, my summer harvest this year isn’t about tomatoes, cucumbers and other fresh from the garden veggies, but it consists of just one thing – lavender.

This is my first full year with these plants and I was pleasantly surprised at just how hardy they are. They were planted in pure, one-hundred percent sunshine, were watered a bit from the sprinklers in the yard (and when it rains) and they grew to produce a fair amount of lavender. So much so, that I haven’t had a chance to cut all the plants back and dry out the stems. 

The aromatic stems were a pure joy to cut, bundle and hang in my studio. They’re done drying out, but I’m not quite ready for them to move into sachets. They look too pretty in the window. Maybe in another day or two, I’ll take them down and go right back out to the garden and cut some more. 

Hope you’re soaking in the last few weeks of this brilliant season. Here we’re trying to cram in everything we can before we get busy raking leaves, picking apples and pumpkins and start looking forward to one of our favorite holidays, Halloween. 

Enough of fall talk for now, it’s time to head out and send summer off in style.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stylize Your Style

A little over a year ago, I was introduced to Stella & Dot through my friend Tracy, who’s a stylist for them. It was love at first sight with Stella & Dot and since my friend is a stylist we have spent many afternoons sipping tea and trying on the latest samples as they come out each season. This is the first time that I’ve purchased jewels practically in bulk and it has led to a wee bit of a problem. 

Lately, I’ve spent one too many mornings digging around trying to find that oh so right combination of jewelry. And then there are those mornings where it’s all too easy to go and put on those go-to pieces that can be worn day in and day out. It makes for a rough morning {wink, wink}.

So the question is, how does one jewelry loving girl go about storing all her precious gems without them taking up too much space or being stored away and forgotten about?  I did what any modern day girl would do. Ask Google.

 As always, the Google image search provided just the visual clues I needed to start planning.

After going through the house and gathering little bowls and things for a display, I went through my jewelry and got rid of all those old pieces I never wear these days and put them in a “deal with later” pile. Each of my statement pieces are now stored in open boxes in my jewelry stand where I can glance in and see them quickly and easily. Plus I feel better that they’re not hanging out in a drawer in plastic bags. They probably didn’t mind, but I did.

The real fun was pulling together the pieces I wanted to display and wear during the rest of the summer season.

I was thrilled to not have to purchase one thing for this project. All the little bowls and the tea cup were just lying around.

 I leave you with this quote from an article in an old Oprah magazine (20 Questions That Could Change Your Life), as you venture onto your own organizing feats. “How much junk could a chic chick chuck if a chic chick could chuck junk? I believe this question was originally posed by Lao Tzu, who also wrote, “To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.” Face it: You’d be better off without some of your relationships, many of your possessions, and most of your thoughts. Chuck your chic-chick junk, chic chick. Enlightenment awaits.”