the cabin

This past weekend we were lucky enough to get to visit Luke's grandparents at the cabin. It was a really special time as we haven't seen them since we moved up to New York. They hold such a special place in our hearts, as does the amazing place they call home for six months out of the year -- this is the place Luke asked me to spend my life with him.


January 2, 2010

I love the cabin because of the significance it holds in Luke's family history, and now ours. I love it because it's a place of refuge, full of peace and relaxation. Cell phones don't work there. It's full of books and old things. It was built from the ground up by Luke's granddad and family members--each strip of molding around the windows painstakingly measured, sawed, and stained by hand. Every cabinet door and handle, even the bed in the master bedroom was created specifically for this space. Luke remembers helping out as a boy with some of these various projects during its construction and he's sat down for countless meals on the back porch looking over the most amazing view. The very first time he brought me to the cabin, I knew instantly it was a rare and special place. Who wouldn't love it here? The moment you walk in the door you can feel the weight of the world melt off of your shoulders. I feel priveleged to be part of this family and get to share in this gift of a place.

The best thing about the cabin, though, are the conversations Luke and I have shared with his grandparents there. The cabin walls and mountain air seem to be an invaluable tool for getting to know these two beautiful people. This weekend we had long, fascinating conversations all about their childhoods, families, and early marriage. These conversations teach me more about life and love than could be read in any book. Their lives are an example of what it means to live sacrificially. I am blessed to learn from their wise ways. Just look at this man!





This is an older photo taken of my mother-in-law, Lola, but I love it because it is the epitomy of cabin life.



I wish I never had to leave!


But now we're on to the next thing -- spending the week in High Point, NC (Luke's hometown), where the Warriors are running soccer camps at Luke's old high school. We're staying with good friends Austin and Rachel who are the kindest hosts. Later this week I get to see my in-laws and Charlotte friends and stuff my face with these, hopefully!


Typecase turned Jewelry Display

I picked a wooden typecase at a yard sale a few weeks ago! These drawers hold tiny pieces of lead type used for letterpress printing. A fun find since I spent a little over a year working with these at the Genesee Center for the Arts and Education. This is a typical California Job Case, which has individual compartments for each character--capital and lowercase--along with punctuation, numbers, spacing and a few other symbols. I spent many hours in the Printing and Book Arts center sorting lead type that had been left out for many days, months, even years. It can get to be quite a nightmare.

image: Mary Dougherty Photography

Yes, each of those tiny little pieces of metal is actually a character--a letter, number, or symbol. You can imagine how significant the nightmare can become if the pieces aren't correctly re-distributed back into the case after the letterpress job is done. Seriously, re-distribute your type, people!

I hung my drawer on the wall of our bedroom with a few favorite framed items. Then I filled it with jewelry and my smallest treasures. 

It makes me happy to have a special spot for my favorite little items like a muslin bag of lavender from my dearest friend's wedding and the delicate wood pendant made by the wonderful Deborah's husband. It's stamped with our names and wedding date; it is so special. I REALLY love being able to see each pair of my earrings in its spot. (PS--I initially got this idea from my friend Kaylan's pinboard. Check it out. Pinterest is THE BEST place for inspiration of all types!)

These wooden/hand-painted gems from Salvation Army in particular always seems to get lost in my collection--not today! 

Also -- My hair inspiration today (like most days) comes from my fave hair blogger, Reagan! Check her out.

A Peek in our Library

Hi everyone! I'm just popping in for a quick post today. I know when I shared our screened-in porch I said I would be back to show you photos of a couple other spaces in our home, and I'm glad I snapped a few when everything was still intact! As of right now, our house is in full-blown packing mode and looking pretty empty. I can't believe tomorrow is my last day of work and we only have 4 days until we pack the cars and go! I'm trying to stay afloat, and Luke is doing a great job keeping me sane. He has packed up so much of our house while I've been at work...and I love him for it.

Today I wanted to show you one of our joint favorite nooks of the house. In the corner of the living room is a bookshelf that houses our little library. We both love books and the idea of having a library in our future home, and this is definitely a humble beginning. There are lots of books we love that aren't seen here, but these things take time. I'll point out a couple of my favorite details while you take a closer look...

1) Budvase of lavender, memento from my best friend Mary's beautiful wedding.

2) Vintage Kodak Instamatic I found for $2 at an antique store.

3) One of the vintage dessert plates from our wedding.

4) The tiniest pewter frame for which I have not yet found the perfect tiniest photo.

5) Sailboat drawing by Mary, a wedding gift.

6) This was a "birthday present" for Luke last year. I definitely had personal motives in mind with this one.

7)  One of three globe bookends I've picked at yard sales. I guess I've started a collection.

8) Luke and I each subscribe to one magazine. My pick is Real Simple, his is Outside.


It's fun to walk over to the bookshelf and choose a book I haven't read in awhile. Speaking of things you haven't read in awhile, do any friends spy books that belong to you? I've been bad about returning in the past...I promise to be better!

We're off to spend a much-anticipated evening with great friends. I'm sad to leave these amazing people but so glad for the brief time we had getting to know them. I'll try to check in on Monday but I think it will be really hectic, so we'll see...have a beautiful weekend!


Our Screened-in Porch: A Peaceful Place

In just a little over two weeks, Luke and I will be leaving our first home and moving somewhere new. I have to be honest and say that when it comes to change, excitement usually wins out over sentimentality for me. I love our beautiful home and I'm so grateful that the first nine months of our marriage were spent here, but I don't dread leaving because I know something else awaits us. I know it involves downsizing significantly and living in a building full of other people, but I think it will be fun and exciting. I also can't wait to tackle our new small space with functional and inspirational solutions (and share them with you!).

I'm going to try to document some spaces around our house until we leave. I'm bringing you one of my favorites first: the screened-in porch. I love relaxing and eating meals out here. I put some time and, as you'll see, not a lot of money into making it feel special. I'm so glad I did, because here's what it looked like after a winter of neglect:

Dead tree, dead leaves, a random saw, spiders galore...scary! 

 Here's what it looks like now:



The rug and matching patio furniture was there when we moved in, but mostly everything else in the room was picked at a thrift store or yard sale, starting with the light above the table. I got it at a yard sale for $5. It was painted a bright teal color when I bought it.


I knew that I wanted to tone it down, so I spent maybe 10 minutes dabbing a rag soaked with white acrylic paint all over the surface.


You're familiar with the chairs that surround the table, and the table itself was scored for just $10 at a yard sale. Unbelievable, right? Perfect for sharing meals.


I got the round lace tablecloth and all of the antique blue budvases at thrift stores. The tablecloth was 99 cents and I paid no more than 75 cents for each budvase.


The lanterns were dusty and worn when Luke's grandmom bought them for me at her favorite antique market. I took them apart, cleaned them up and bought new wicks and lamp oil for them--now they're good as new!

They're so lovely in the evening...


My dad picked up the cool wine crates off the side of the road for me because he knew I'd love them. For now, I'm using them as side tables. The hand-painted lamp was $1 at a thrift store.


The colorful Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs were purchased from two separate yard sales for a total of 3 or 4 dollars. I thought they were fun and cheerful, but I don't think they'll make the move.


This garden table I use for my seedlings is perfect. I mentioned before that I got it at a yard sale for $3. Speaking of which, check out that post and see the difference in the baby plants! It's like a jungle now!


The two plant tables below were found at a thrift store and flea market for a few bucks apiece. I had intentions to paint both of them, but their purpose is served well just the way they are. Both of the plants (jade on the left, peperomia on the right) were gifts from Luke on two consecutive Valentine's days.


Last but not least, the oriental throw rug from this post found its home on the back porch. I love stepping out of the house and having it lead me to such a peaceful place.


So that's our screened-in porch. It's an easily neglected room which can be one of the most enjoyable if you show it a little love! After you are done perusing the photos, leave a comment and tell me: have you ever realized the potential of a neglected area of your home and revitalized it?