Sunday, August 28, 2011

sweetheartville: creations, music, ephemera

The other day, I received a sweet comment from Sweetheartville and clicked on the user profile to see where it led me. I am so glad I clicked. The creation of a lovely lady named Holly, Sweetheartville contains art, song, and findings that take you back to mid-century country music and vintage women of every decade. She falls perfectly into that elusive artistic corner where the aesthetic appeal of the southern states meets the color and enthusiasm of Mexican folk painting. 
My favorite things in her shop are the prayer candles featuring Patron Saints of the Domestic Arts, completely created by Holly. (I have a thing for fictional Patron Saints, as you've probably noticed in the past. The thing is, once someone creates them, they don't seem so fictional anymore, do they? They make you feel safe and stronger in what you do.)
(a hand-embroidered Wanda Jackson!)
 On top of art, Holly is also part of a music project called Welcome Little Stranger. If you're a fan of the likes of the Secret Sisters, Fleet Foxes, or Jolie Holland, you'll really love WLS's music. My favorite songs are "Evil Math" and Holly's rendition of "Johnny my Jewel," a civil war song with amazing lyrics.
 In addition to the lovely creations and music, you can find beautiful photos of Holly's home and read interesting posts about the history of art, music, and architecture that don't exclude the nice, small details. 
Holly wrote the sweetest blog post about me today and I was only too happy to do the same!
So thank you, Holly, and I'm glad I found your blog, too! 
P.S. - Stay safe during Irene, everyone!

Friday, August 26, 2011

the warm-colored months

Almost-autumn inspiration:
-apartment windows
-Hitchcock films
-classic literature
-shiny black
I really wish I was watching Harriet the Spy right now.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Giveaway Winner etc.

I picked two winners for the giveaway; they are Ange and the lovely Ivy! Email me at with your mailing addresses. :) Thank you so much to everyone who entered. I plan on having more giveaways this fall so keep an eye out! 
In other news, I finally gave in and made a twitter. I am not sure how I feel about it yet. Nevertheless, here it is!
I hope everyone has a beautiful rest of the week, and take care during the bad weather! xo, Amanda

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Europe: picnic at Versailles

I never got around to doing nearly as many Europe posts as I intended! I'm going to try to do more, showing things in bits and pieces. On Nicole's last day in Paris we took the train out to Versailles, where Marie Antoinette once lived. We had a picnic in her backyard.
(photo by nicole)
(photo by nicole)
(photo by nicole)
It seemed we got there at the perfect time. The tours were just ending when we arrived, and only a few other people were wandering the grounds out back. I'm wishing I could be back there right now.
xo, Amanda

Saturday, August 20, 2011

inspiration: rifle paper co.

I truly love the work of Anna Bond, a.k.a. Rifle Paper Co. I discovered her last year when Paper Source began to carry some of her cards, and then started noticing her work everywhere. I own a few of her note sets myself now. :)
(Images from Anna's blog.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

a giveaway!

I decided it's time for another giveaway! I haven't had one in so long.
The prize this time is an 8x10" print of the above painting, "Remember me remarkable."
To enter, leave a comment on this post. You can receive an additional entry by liking my facebook page, another by becoming or being a follower, and yet another entry by posting about the giveaway on your blog; let me know if you do more than one! :)
I'll pick the winner on August 25th!
xo, Amanda

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the enormous room: falling back in love with a writer

"By a - what do you call yourself? painter? poet? playwright? satirist? essayist? novelist?
But not a successful artist, in the popular sense?
Don't be silly.
Yet you probably consider your art of vital consequence -
-To the world?
To myself....
But I dare say you don't dare say precisely why you consider your art of vital consequence-
Thanks to I dare say my art I am able to become myself.
Well well! Doesn't that sound as if people who weren't artists couldn't become themselves?
Does it?"
-e. e. cummings' introduction to his novel, The Enormous Room
You know how sometimes a certain writer touches you at a particular time in your life, and as the years go by you wonder if the love was somewhat superficial? If maybe it was just because you were so young, or hadn't read anything like it before, or were looking for something to separate you from everyone else.
I had started to wonder these things about my love for e. e. cummings. I didn't think about it too much. Cummings touched me very deeply my junior year of high school and I carried that with me all through college, taking long walks in the Cambridge neighborhood where he used to live. At some point, I stopped feeling so emotionally connected to his writing. 
I spent all of last week at home, and came across this very old copy of The Enormous Room in my bedroom. I had finished the novel I brought home with me for the week, and so I began to read this newly-found book by my old favorite writer.
It didn't take me long at all to fall back in love with him. In his introduction, a faux-interview with himself used to address what were probably real comments from critics, he gave the above passage which really hit home with me in terms of why I create art. And in terms of who I consider to be artists. I think (and I think this is what Cummings meant, behind a word with such a strong definition) that an "artist" is anyone who is strongly passionate about something, passionate in general. Simply, a person with a large capacity to love something or anything or everything. That if "becoming yourself" is hinged on anything, it's knowing how to be open with yourself and building from there.
I felt relieved to discover that my love for Cummings was always here, lying dormant; kind of like it's a true part of myself, and not in vain. Besides, it's always sad to fall out of love with something. How nice to know that you never really did.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

cattails and brush

I've been taking a lot of walks through the Fenway Gardens this summer. It's acres of small plots tended to by individual gardeners. If you look in certain directions, it doesn't even feel like you are in the city.
"I never knowed magic by that name, but what does the name matter?" - The Secret Garden by Frances Hogson Burnett
p.s. I want to thank all of you for the lovely, kind, comforting comments you left on my last post about my Grampa. It meant so much to me.
xo, Amanda

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So proud of you, Grampa.

On August 6th, my Grampa passed away, one day short of a month after his 88th birthday.
Words can't even express how proud of him I am and always have been and how much I love and miss him.
My Grampa fought in World War II from 1941 to 1945. He received a Purple Heart for saving the life of a fellow soldier, but I know that his acts of bravery were countless. My Grampa was truly the most selfless and generous person I've known in my entire life.
Today, after his funeral, my family was honored with seeing the veteran flag service performed at his gravesite. While one soldier went off into the distance to play taps on a bugle, two others carried out the folding of the flag.
I will post more photos of my Grampa later. We got out the really beautiful old ones this week, some of which I had never seen before.
I love you forever, Grampa.
Love always, Amanda