Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Black Kitchens

Sometimes, when I'm cataloguing my favorite images on Pinterest, a pattern appears. I look at what I've compiled and realize that I have penchant for purple floral arrangements or some such thing. Today's ah-ha moment? I became aware that half of my kitchen photos had black walls or cabinetry. Black kitchens. Evidently I love them.














Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Escape Hatch

Yesterday, while minding my own business, the mail man dropped off an astronomical medical bill pertaining to one of my son's recent hospital visits. I opened it, as I have opened hundreds before. It was for a new procedure we had done in February to help Charlie's muscles, which are over-toned due to Cerebral Palsy. We spent an hour in the hospital and received 9 Botox injections. And for these services, the hospital charged our insurance company $8,500.

What?  Yes.  EIGHTY-FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS! Our insurance paid their portion. And this bill is for our family's portion, which is $2,700 due immediately. And here's the kicker. The doctor would like to do this same procedure every three months. That's 10,800 dollars a year on top of our deductible and co-pays and adaptive equipment percentages.

And it's not like this is the first big bill of the year. It's the fourth. So, I guess I'm complaining about it here because I'm tired of it. I'm tired of never feeling like we'll get out from under the feet of corporate insurance.  This giant is going to crush anyone unlucky enough to be sick or have cancer or birth a child who needs more than an annual check-up. I love my son dearly and will do whatever I can to help him. But we are one of a million families cracking under the pressure of our broken system.

So..... yeah.

After choking on my tongue and crying to my husband once again about the shameful state of our country's medical system, I've decided to run away. Yep. Running away sounds about right.

Oh and I almost forgot... Happy Tax Day.

"Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air..."  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, April 14, 2014

Thoughts on Living a Process Oriented Life

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I am the type of person who gets really inspired by something and then tries it out. And I don't just dabble, I go balls to the wall. Whether its my Smaller Sarah Year, the paint job in my entry way or my radical homemaking manifesto, I give the idea my full attention and energy. I do this so that I can assess whether or not its the right path for me. Does it make my life better? Is it sustainable? How does it shift over the long term? What changes can I make to the original plan so that it better suits my life with kids? These questions can only be answered if I commit as fully as I can to the goal.

Yesterday's Instagram of my raised bed.

My radical homemaking journey has already been really rewarding. The little changes I've made to our household like gardening vegetables in a raised bed, composting, etc, have revealed to me what our family can live without and also what our family needs to have in place. The larger changes towards self reliance and greener living have been slower than I had hoped, but they have also served to focus my energies and fine tune my patience.

Even though I like to commit 100 percent, change is still a process. I can only do a little bit at a time. And I cannot do everything at once. I cannot possibly maintain a four-day-a-week exercise schedule, plan and prepare all raw meals (as I would like to), tend to my garden, take care of two small children, make art, write a book, volunteer at my son's school, blog, take photos, meet freelance writing deadlines, edit photos, stay married and on and on and on. And the truth is I don't do all of those things. I can barely get to half of those things during the course of my week. The goals I hold for my home and for myself must ebb and flow if they are to be accomplished with any kind of efficacy and quality.

So when I say, I'm on the radical homemaking path or that I'm on a weight loss journey, I mean just that: I'm in process. And really, aren't we all in process? When will I arrive at center? I don't care when that occurs. In fact, I hope that it never happens. I hope that I am always tending the garden of my soul, searching for answers, loving the journey and sharing snapshots along the path.

Art by the talented Phoebe Wahl

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This Week in the Studio

I was out and about this week taking lots of photos. I had two photo shoots for, but also a private client, a designer in the area, has asked me to document some of her work as part of her portfolio. It's been such fun! Here are some peek-a-boo detail shots from my upcoming Houzz tour.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Twilight in the Garden of Eden

I have a tree question. So if you're a botany enthusiast familiar with the North Texas region, listen up. Last night, while sitting with my husband on my newly installed bench swing, I watched dozens of black and orange moths swarm our backyard tree. There are actually three of this species of tree on our property. I see this tree EVERYWHERE in Dallas and I have no idea what it is.

It's in bloom right now. The tiny flower clusters start off smelling mildly sweet and then as more and more blooms open up, it smells more like urine. But the bugs and pollinators LOVE it. I took photos so that my amazing blog readers (that's you) might help me to identify this pee-scented tree. Ready, GO!

And here are some extreme close-ups of the bloom clusters. They're gorgeous, but oh my oh my, they make me sneeze. The yellow powdery centers are like pollen salt shakers. Every surface in my backyard and every car on the street is covered with its yellow pee-pee powder.

Also, I created a little graffiti yesterday on my new arbor with a Sharpie. I don't know what got into me. It was a perfectly good arbor, but I wanted to mark it and make it my own. I used to do the same thing on the wallpaper in my childhood bedroom - make little pencil marks to show that I was there. You can never go wrong with a little "Namaste". What do you think? If you hate it, don't worry - the Wisteria will grow over it soon enough.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Home Tour | Artist Isabelle de Borchgrave

Today, we're going to take a peek inside the home of Belgium artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. Textiles and pattern are her muse in the studio and also in her home. Many of her art pieces and projects revolve around recreating exquisite, life-size historical costumes and fabrics entirely out of paper. For instance, THESE extraordinary Medici era dresses. Amazing, right? Here is Isabelle in her studio:


Her home is a fascinating and colorful explosion of fabric, artifacts and art. I love her curated sense of style and her bold use of red, a favorite of mine! And check out her trompe l'oeil writing desk papered from top to bottom!  Just incredible.

I love seeing how artists live. Don't you?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Rings | LuxDivine

Before I had kids, I used to wear a fistful of chunky rings on each hand. Why did I stop? I can't remember. Perhaps they got caught on hair or got in the way of a fast diaper change. Whatever the reason, I think its time to reinstate my oversized ring wearing habits. I'm in love with these gorgeous pieces from LuxDivine. Oh my oh my. I want them all!

And their arm wraps are gorgeous as well!