This + That: Tue, March 17th

1. Can finally see our stairs again after the big melt. / 2. Dropped a friend off for the bus in Phoenicia. / 3. Got a latte while waiting for a prescription to be filled and overheard lots of weather talk. / 4. Pooping dog juuuust out of the frame. / 5. Decided to listen to the entire "Idler Wheel" Fiona Apple album while doing nothing else but laying on the floor-- wanted to treat her lyrics like reading a book. This might have to be a new thing I enjoyed it so much. / 6. Leftover cornbread for lunch. / 7. Had some trouble getting the wood stove going. Always makes me feel incompetent. / 8. Warmer weather = cluster flies. / 9. Getting my snob on aka practicing French by reading Camus. / 10. Was interrupted by a flash in the window-- part of a box that covers some exterior pipes flew off. Struggled to get that back on in the terrible wind. / 11. So THAT's where the swing went. / 12. Took Waldo in the pine trees after swinging by the front desk to chat with our assistant Colleen. / 13. Happy hour.

(What is "This + That"? This is "This + That".)

I Love Lamp: Painted Brick

For about two months now, ever since I painted the living room built-in black, I've been meaning to paint the brick chimney behind our wood stove black as well.

Neither Steven nor I were fans of the mismatched browns of the brick, and the globby (and dusty) insulation was driving us a little nutty.

Step 1 was to take an Exacto knife to that. Which of course was totally tedious and when Steven was helping me with the high parts he managed to give himself the hugest, deepest, grossest wood splinter up his nail which I will spare you from. (He's ok now.)

Step 2 was to blue tape the edges. Step 3 to prime.

Somehow the priming took a solid hour. Like, not even a break for lunch included hour. Just an hour of jamming a paint brush in all the bricks' nooks and crannies.

Still, it was pretty satisfying to see it one uniform color!

Walked the dog, answered some emails, let that dry. Step 4 was to get out the glossy black.

It felt really BOLD going up--

But solid, in a good way. And already I was so happy to see the metal chimney of the stove disappearing into the black brick.

Step 5 was originally going to be painting the insulation that was sandwiched between the top row of bricks and the wood beam with a small paint brush which you can kinda see here--

But after giving it a quick go I realized that even if that was all black it would always look a little messy. So Steven nailed up a board that was left over from when we did the finishing trim in the upstairs hallway:

And I painted it black and BAM!

Step 6 was of course to build a fire, have a beer, and call it a DIY day.

What's that? You'd like a side by side Before and After?


(What is I Love LampThis is I Love Lamp.)

International Idioms

I'm a sucker for things like untranslatable words that convey something particular about that country/culture, so it's unsurprising that when I saw this Hotel Club infographic of idioms from around the world I jumped up in my chair:

A few of my favorites are:

Uhhhh, now that I'm looking at this I'm realizing I clearly have a thing for animal idioms.

My absolute FAVORITE of the bunch is this Polish one (and not just because I'm a Scieszka):

That just CRACKS ME UP. I keep picturing a literal circus gone awry and someone standing at the edge of it with their arms folded, shrugging, saying, "Not my circus, not my monkeys" then leaving to go get lunch or something.

Anyway. Happy Friday!


I Love Lamp: Baobab Interiors

I came across the Tumblr Baobab Interiors and it was almost too much.

Whitewash? Moroccan riads? Certain kinds of statement chairs? Concrete floors? It simultaneously filled my heart and made me feel the teeniest bit sad. Sad in that way when someone else nails so many things you love and it makes you realize, "Oh right, I'm SUPER ORIGINAL."

It also kind of reminded me of this hilarious bit about having too many gummy bears.

(What is I Love LampThis is I Love Lamp.)

National Handwriting Day: Round 2!

It's National Handwriting Day again! Last year I made a version of my real handwriting with Your Fonts. This year I used their coupon to create what I WISH my handwriting looked like:

It's inspired by all the old fishing and hunting maps I've started collecting from around here. I also like it with a tighter kerning:

Have you ever made a font before? I LOVE it. While I enjoy hand lettering projects from time to time, there's something incredibly satisfying about typing in your original font. Here are a few others I've made over the past few years:

Check out It's usually about $15 per font but if you get on their mailing list they send out deals on the regular.

And, Happy National Handwriting Day!

Vanishing People

I'm a sucker for local dress and am always intrigued/saddened/stressed by the fact that there are communities of people in this world who are the last of their generation to live a certain way; so it's no surprise that I want a copy of Before They Pass Away by Jimmy Nelson SO BAD.

Click around the website for it, there are some interesting tidbits, like this:

(All photos are Jimmy Nelson's from "Before They Pass Away".)

I Love Lamp: Get Those Guitars Out!

I've been meaning to hang my guitars since the day we moved in TWO YEARS AGO. (How does that happen?!) Finally, the other day I did it and I'm so pleased. It's no longer an ordeal to get them out of their cases that are stuffed awkwardly in our closet. They're just hanging there on four plain nails, ready to go.

I highly recommend this approach in general-- having something you like to play with readily available-- because it's amazing how easily deterred we all are by having to take something out of storage. And what a silly reason to not do something you love.

(What is I Love LampThis is I Love Lamp.)