Mar

07

reconnecting

reconnecting

 

As you may have realized, I have taken a rest from this place. After many years of blogging for pleasure, with a multitude of other commitments and responsibilities, I needed to stop and see. See what is important to me, see what I want to be.

I see inspiration everywhere, and I want to do it all. Not doing is the big challenge. I recently spoke of this with a friend of similar mind to me. And when she asked me what shibusa is, I realized… it is important to me. In explaining shibusa, I reconnected with this part of me.

So here I go again. Aware of my limitations, sharing what I can. Finding Shibusa.

this is what it means to me:

Shibusa can be described as an openness to nature, an asymmetry of forms, a roughness of textures, and naturalness in everyday life.

I first came upon the concept of shibusa when reading a book on moss gardening a number of years ago. The book described the concept, which is unable to be translated into English, as the serene feeling that is experienced when in an old garden in which the moss has, over time, crept, unrestrained, into all the spaces in between. The garden is pervaded by a natural beauty, not cultivated, it is the beauty of the element itself, being what it is, being as it should. Beneath the surface there is more than meets the eye, an intrinsic meaningfulness or depth.

This idea struck me and has stayed with me over the years. I understood this idea of beauty. It is.

It is elusive and seemingly contradictory, roughness and refinement at once. An appreciation of form and material. A celebration of naturalness and irregularity.

Shibusa is a refinement of taste and style. It can refer to anything… design, fashion, food, material, and craftsmanship. It is with this in mind that I created this blog, to foster my own passion for simply great design and to offer inspiration to you… by showing things which are being precisely what they are meant to be. And perhaps in the process I will be too.

I do not claim to be an expert on the concept of shibusa, this is more of a process, the finding… nor do I claim that all things on here will strictly adhere to this, but they will all have elements of great style (to me), the kind you just know when you see, that you look at and think, yes, please. I hope that you do too.

Image via A Well-Traveled Woman

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Aug

25

savoring summer – 10 must-do’s before labor day

10 must do's before labor day - lie in the grass | FINDING SHIBUSA

1. lie in the grass

What’s more summer than lying lazily in the grass with nowhere to be? The blades tickling your legs, leaving criss-cross imprints. The sound of cicadas humming in the background.

10 must do's before labor day - pick a wildflower bouquet | FINDING SHIBUSA

2. pick a wildflower bouquet

It is definitely a necessity to wander. Go for a walk in wild and savor the beautiful yellows, rusts, and purples of late summer. Pick yourself a wildflower bouquet like this beautiful bunch from Style Me Pretty. You’ll be glad you did every time you see it.

10 must do's before labor day - go skinny dipping | FINDING SHIBUSA

3. go skinny dipping

Go for it… There’s nothing quite so exhilarating.

10 must do's before labor day - eat a creemee | FINDING SHIBUSA

4. eat a creemee

Or whatever you call them… They are an integral part of the summering process and a must-have-one-more for summer’s end. In Vermont we call them creemees, but you can see all the colloquialisms on this apropos tee from local favorite Syrup Souvenir Shop (also available in a onesie!). My favorite, and of course non-traditional, creemee is the affogato creemee from the Bluebird Coffee Stop – mocha soft serve drizzled with a shot of espresso and sprinkled with cacao nibs. It is divine.

wear your favorite sundress

5. wear your favorite sundress

Those fall fashions can wait. There are only a few days left that you can float around in swishy summer dresses.

10 must do's before labor day - make sangria | FINDING SHIBUSA

6. make sangria

Pretty soon it will be all about ciders and bourbon and cinnamon and anise. This seems like the perfect excuse to make a pitcher of sangria and share it with friends.

10 must do's before labor day - sleep outside | FINDING SHIBUSA

7. sleep outside

Like skinny dipping, there is nothing so freeing as sleeping outside in the fresh air, under the stars.

10 must do's before labor day - make s'mores | FINDING SHIBUSA

8. make s’mores

S’mores takes me back to summertime hikes at summer camp where after dinner we would sit around the campfire and toast and occasionally blacken our way to the sweet sticky melding of sugar, chocolate, and graham cracker.

10 must do's before labor day - eat a peach | FINDING SHIBUSA

9. eat a peach

They taste like summer, and will never be as good as they are now.

10 must do's before labor day - paint your nails your favorite summer shade | FINDING SHIBUSA

10. paint your nails your favorite summer shade

Give those corals a final flourish!

Spend your last few summer days truly savoring summer. Did I miss anything? Let me know. xoxo

Images via 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

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Feb

03

hello monday

hello monday

If only you were that green. But your not, you’re back below freezing and going to snow. And I’m all flowers and jasmine, lemons and citrus, pretty and pink, juices and body oils, and new bikinis.

Image via

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Jan

28

the birthday that nearly broke my heart

adelaide

It was my birthday a few weeks ago, and I had it all figured out. Birthday time would begin with a ladies’ night drink at one of my favorite new restaurants. The next day my boyfriend and I planned to go to New York for a long weekend to celebrate with friends. We were going to take a pasta-making dinner class at Eataly, something I’ve always wanted to do. We were going to try to eat dinner at The Water Table in Brooklyn, a seemingly amazing place for a night out. Food and friends are top of the list I guess!

So the week before all this I took my puppy, Adelaide, to the vet for a vaccine which her daycare now requires. The next day, while making her dinner, a little voice in my head told me to look in her ears because I never really have a good look in them (they stick up and are fairly wide open, flopping over at the tips, pretty adorable). In them I saw two blood purple scratches, which seemed not too out of the ordinary because on our walks she runs with abandon through the fields and woods around our house. But then I saw similar spots of blood under her skin on her temples. I followed this under her fur, across her forehead to the other ear, seeing increasingly larger patches as I went.

I’m not going to say I’m not a hypochondriac (she’s my first dog and has definitely already had her share of “situations”, like when we stumbled into a bee’s nest last summer.) But this seemed not right in a meaningful way. So after a google search and a phone call we were at the emergency vet. It turns out that she had a very rare reaction to the vaccine which caused her body to kill her platelets – she had almost none. The marks that I was seeing were from her body essentially hemorrhaging because it couldn’t clot. She was started on medication to suppress her immune system to stop it from killing her platelets. But this can be slow to start working. Days were going by and she had no platelets. That means that she was in constant danger. If she fell, bruised, or cut herself it could be catastrophic. She couldn’t play with balls or bones, wear collars or harnesses, go for walks, run or jump, or even eat hard food – she had to be handled with kid gloves. Even the vet visits were dangerous but we had to go daily for blood tests. And, during all of this she had no idea because she felt fine, except for the fact that I never left her side.

After no immediate improvement we saw a specialist who gave Addy a chemotherapy drug which could help flush some platelets out of her bone marrow, and then we waited. And waited. And had a number of blood tests that returned no better, and sometimes worse results. And then finally, after nine days of watching, monitoring, researching, hugging, loving, holding, praying, and trying to believe in the positive, her count rose into the safe zone. She is not completely back to normal, and there is a fairly long road ahead to wean her from her medications, but she is out of danger and returning to a normal life. I am the one who is having a hard time at letting my guard down. It is a terrifying experience to deal with such fragility.

I am writing this to hopefully help other dog owners. Though this is a rare reaction to a vaccine, it can also happen as a result of a tick-borne disease and certain types of cancer. Quite often it is not discovered until too late because the blood spots (petechia) are hard to see on a dog covered in fur. So please cuddle with your dog and give them a good inspection on a regular basis, and especially after vaccines and unusual situations. I am so thankful that I heard that little voice in my head.

So though it was the birthday that nearly broke my heart, it is the one that I got the best gift I could have ever received. Adelaide.

To learn more about this condition click here: Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (IMT)

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Sep

09

rustic luxe – a barn reborn

A modern rustic living room in a renovated barn in France.

A modern earthy living room in a renovated barn in France.

When childhood sweethearts and Francophiles, Paul and Charmaine Jack relocated from New Zealand to the medieval town of Uzes in southern France they took on more than just crossing continents. They chose to renovate a crumbling 250-year-old barn for their home. They transformed the structure into a masterpiece of rustic stone walls, sand-blasted beams, polished concrete, and exposed staircases – lending a laid-back luxe and an inviting modern, earthy interior.

A modern rustic kitchen in a renovated barn in France.

A modern rustic kitchen in a renovated barn in France.

An exposed stone staircase in a modern earthy renovated barn.

A country bathroom in a renovated barn in France.

A modern earthy bedroom with exposed stone in a renovated barn in France.

Images via Elle Decoration Country Volume 1.

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Dec

31

creative crushing – becoming and passing

I find myself completely enthralled by German artist, Cornelia Konrads‘ natural sculptures. It’s no surprise that I love the elements of wood and stone, but what I find really compelling is the whimsy which seems to impel each sculpture. In each piece Konrads plays with the ideas of motion and calm, with dissolution and density. Her installations exist in inbetween states, in flux. They play with ambiguity. Are the elements rising or falling? Are they being constructed or deconstructed?

Her installations exist as emblems of the cycle of becoming and passing, something to think upon, this new year.

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Nov

16

attic

 

Image #1 courtesy of Bradford Avenue
Image #2 courtesy of Colorful Homes
Image #3 courtesy of At Home in Arkansas
Image #4 courtesy of Moon to Moon
Image #5 courtesy of Emmas DesignBlogg
Image #6 courtesy of Pinterest
Image #7 courtesy of Heaton
Image #8 courtesy of Re-Nest

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