You have not grown old

August 11, 2014

I came across this quote and poem while reading an article about the, wise beyond her years Tavi Gevinson in New York Magazine.  It’s funny that an 18 year old’s quote would speak so closely to this 37 year old, photographer, wife and mother of two, but as I am vacationing and preparing to dive back into work upon my return, it speaks volumes to me.  It’s the perfect little vacation meditation.  Summer is always such a great lazy time and I have especially indulged in lots of quiet family time this summer.  We are currently soaking up a week of sun and beach fun at Sea Island located on the coast of South Georgia.  We have been coming down here this time each year for a while now, and I find it to be a wonderful, special way to wrap up summer.  Some extra hot, lazy, humid days before the fresh start of Fall wakes you up.

“You see, I want a lot.
Perhaps I want everything
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shivering blaze of every step up.
So many live on and want nothing
And are raised to the rank of prince
By the slippery ease of their light judgments
But what you love to see are faces
that do work and feel thirst.
You love most of all those who need you
as they need a crowbar or a hoe.
You have not grown old, and it is not too late
To dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

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A few weeks ago a journalist from BBC.com contact me, asking to interview me for a piece she was writing about renovating a historic home.  I was less than a week away from giving birth and super nervous about being interviewed, but I took a risk.  I am only quoted briefly (thank goodness), but they included one of my photographs of our library!  The full article is here. They interviewed people from all over the globe, France, Argentina, Mexico, and then little old me.  There is a lot of focus on the “moneypit” side of renovating an old home, but then there is my Pollyanna perspective at the end.  While, it is true, there are mountains of headaches included in renovating an old home, we have found there to be lots of rewards.  Specifically, for a control freak like myself, the house gets to be exactly how I want it.  In light of the article I thought I would finally share some real before and afters of my favorite room in the house, our Library.

This is what the room looked like the day of closing.  As you can see, good bones, hardwood floors, amazing light and that staircase, but…horrible paint colors, rotting wood window seats, terrible tile around fireplace and a dead end flow to the the room on the left.

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Enter our amazing contractor Dan Shanks and architect Kyle Sheffield from LDA Architect.  I had dreams and loads of Pinterest pins, but need their expertise, skill and vision to make it happen.  No joke, there was a staircase behind that one wall, leading up to the 3rd floor illegal apartment, so it wasn’t as easy as just punching a hole in the wall to make a door.

Here I am testing out black paint colors.  I was determined to paint the room black.

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I also had dreams and sketches of a beautiful wall of builtin bookshelves.

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Dan and his team made them a reality.

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Here they are complete.  Obviously my styling and book collection is a work in progress, but I think they are my favorite thing in the house.  You can see the gorgeous crown molding and fascia Dan added to the room, and those two litter french doors were my sister’s idea. It definitely took a lot of time, money, patience and the help of a village of people, but I am so in love with this room.

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P.S.  I am also lucky enough to call the amazing interior designer, Erin Gates, a friend and believe me…I was texting her all the time, throughout the process.

When we purchased our new home last year the thought of having a yard again thrilled me.  My bungalow in Atlanta had a great yard, but since moving to Boston 5 years ago I have been with out a green space of my own.  The long winter had me plotting and planning what to do with our space beginning back in February, but I knew I needed keep things simple  I am by no means master gardener and didn’t want to be spending hours upon house a week tending to a high maintenance garden.  But I love the idea of my 2 year learning all those blueberries she loves to eat don’t just come from Whole Foods.  Enter the help of my extremely knowledgeable and talented sister-in-law, Melissa Winchester.  Melissa owns and runs, The Savvy Hen, an urban farm and feed store in Boulder, Colorado.  You may remember us going out there last summer for the grand opening.  Well, she not only has the worlds most darling stop (a must visit of you are in the Boulder area), she also consults and helps plan backyard gardens complete with sketched layouts and plant picks ideal for your growing zone and yard orientation.  (North, South, East, West, etc.)

We started to process by me emailing her they types of fruits and vegetables we like to eat.  No sense on growing beats if you are never going to eat then.  I also attached photos of our yard in the noon day sun so she could help me orient our garden beds.  (I found these pre-cut, hardware included, super easy to put together flower beds…again I am a novice gardener with two young children.)  Then she drew up some plans, a “shopping list” and we were ready to go.

Note: We started off a little late in the growing season, due to the arrival of baby boy, but still have gotten wonderful results.

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These are the gorgeous plans Melissa designed for us.

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Here are the amazingly detailed plant recommendations and notes.  Girl knows her stuff!

 

 

 

 

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Feel free to call or email them with your own garden questions or concerns.  They are a wealth of knowledge.  Oh and they do e-garden planning for anyone…not just lucky sister-in-laws.

Email info@thesavvyhen.com

1908 Pearl Street Boulder, Colorado 80302

Phone : 720-502-6187

Open 11AM – 6PM Tuesday – Friday

Open 10AM – 5PM Saturday & Sunday

Closed Monday

 

 

If you following me on Instagram you probably saw me post photo after photo of a wedding this weekend.  Well, sorry for the duplicate Instagram and blog photos, but the wedding was beyond gorgeous.  A dear family friend got married in true preppy New England style with the nautical setting at the bride’s grandparents’ home on Duxbury bay.  I have known this family since for many years and first visited Duxbury with my family the summer I was 12.  As a girl growing up in Georgia, Duxbury was my first exposure to New England and has always set the bar for what it means for something to be so “New England.”  It holds a special place in my heart.  In fact I seem to have a whole category on my blog devoted to the place

The wedding festivities were complete with a bridal party arrival from the church via boat, a fresh oyster bar, lawn games and mention of not one but two trusted, family Labradors in the Father of the Bride speech.  Haha  No to mention but it was also our first night out since baby number two’s arrival.  I was thrilled to get dressed up, kick up my heels with my husband, stuff my face with oysters, and have a glass of wine (or 3).  Here are some of my iPhone photos from the gorgeous event and cheers to Katie and Sander.  XOXO

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Derailment

July 18, 2014

So this week flew by and my promise to myself to blog again post baby has been derailed by a few sleepless nights, doctors appointments and little free time, but I have not abandoned this blog.  Quite the contrary.  What little free time I have had, I have been working on my website to incorporate a new blog design, working on some prints and some studio updates and projects.  All in good time.  Hope everyone has a wonderful summer weekend.  Cheers.

TheT

Summer Days

July 11, 2014

We are smack dab in the middle of summer and life couldn’t be better.  Last summer we were basically nomads, our home was undergoing renovations.  Living in my in-laws basement and driving up to Maine every weekend to see my sister.  This summer we are total home bodies.  Playing in the backyard. Nesting with our new baby boy, and just staying at home enjoying our house.  While I know, I cant sit still for long,  (I am working on a few work projects and ready to get back into regular blogging), I am also forcing myself to enjoy this quiet, home life of our summer.

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The other week a editorial came out on Style Me Pretty Living, on a home I photographed for Jennifer Blecher, author of a new tween children’s series, Star Sisters.  The series follows two sisters, Coco and Lucy, and their various adventures like, a royal wedding and summer camp.  They are great for reading together with your little one and as they learn to read chapter books on their own.  In addition to Jennifer’s new series, her home reflects a perfect mix of adult sophistication and kid-friendly colors and fun.  She mixes Ikea lighting with designer fabrics, family heirlooms with paintings of her own.  It is fun, colorful and bright and is one of my favorite interior shoots to date.  Styling assistant Amy Hendren.

Go over to Style Me Pretty Living for the full spread and article.  Below are some (a lot) of my favorites.

Dinning room with Ikea PS Makros fixture , wood grain fabric on the chairs.  Love.

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Paintings by Jennifer.

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Living room/Family room.  All in one function.  Because who, with children, really ever uses a formal Living Room?Style Me Pretty Living - Jen Blecher homeStyle Me Pretty Living - Jen Blecher homeStyle Me Pretty Living - Jen Blecher home

Kids play room.  What is not to love here?!?!  Pagoda/bamboo lighting, Woods Brocatelle fabric, and loads of books.

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Style Me Pretty Living - Jen Blecher homeFabulously fun and sophisticated little girls room.

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Another one of her 3 daughter’s rooms.

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Number 3 of the girls’ rooms.

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Jennifer’s study with book shelves filled with books that have actually been read.

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Entryway

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Fabulous zinc cabinet.

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Baby haze

June 20, 2014

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Baby boy finally arrived 5 days past his due date in all 9 lb. of glory. (Hens quiet on the blogging front.) We are basking in the newborn, little sleep, phase and our little girl is figuring out this whole big sister thing. (Some good, some “challenging.” Haha.). Thank you to so many for the well wishes, flowers, and gifts.  Back to blogging soon and a new website. “It’s all happening.” But for now I am just going to indulge in this baby haze.

Xoxo
Sarah

This and That

June 3, 2014

As I, not so patiently, await baby #2, I am filling my days with all sorts of craziness.   Tying up loose work ends and getting all my new website materials to the talented ladies at JSGD. Nesting like crazy, the hubs and I pressure washed, sanded and painted the porch floor last weekend.  And basically acting like a crazy 9 month pregnant lady.  Here are some images from my last week.

A little rainy day outing on Newbury Street.  I just love how the city looks in the rain.

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Family outing to the zoo.

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A walk in a secret garden we found.  I guess they don’t call Newton the “garden city” for nothing.  I am looking forward to a summer of exploring with my little ones.

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Now, come on baby #2.  At this point I will be much more mobile with him out than in my belly.  It is like wielding around a 30 lb, very uncomfortable, beach ball attached to my stomach.

This week has been a doozey for multiple different reasons, so I thought I would share my little cure.  Anne Street Studios and her husband Kevin Burg’s Instagram accounts.  I have talked about my love and admiration for this talented creative couple before and they just keep delivering.  I check there blog all the time, but their Instagram accounts offer that, well, instant gratification and beauty.  Warning: you will have to tuck that little green eyed monster into a closet.  There are some envy worthy travel adventures and images. One week they are in Bali on a photo shoot, the next week they are taking the Eurostar from London to Paris.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Cheers to a happy weekend.

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