Can We Talk? (#3)

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I‘m just going to come clean and confess.

I’ve had such a bad case of blogging ADD lately that I’ve worked myself into a corner (bed)

   My computer desktop is a mosaic of partially finished posts I can’t quite ferry into port.

Meanwhile, Life’s clipping by at an almost comical speed and the end of each day sounds a chastising gong;

‘You didn’t accomplish enough!’ gonggong

February 6th and already my New Year resolutions are in the “Fail” column.  I know that’s pretty much a given, but man, Feb. 6 is early-even for me.

Nike Fuel Band , slimpaley.com

My Nike Fuel band has registered this just once since January 1st :-(

I’m not proud, but there it is.

I think it’s broken.

The re-design of Slim Paley remains inert and that, my loyal readers is truly just the tip of the iceberg.

Patagonia slimpaley.com

Speaking of icebergs, I’ve yet to go through my Patagonia pics to write the two more travel posts I’d been planning.

 I sit down at my computer, commence a blogging and then perhaps Pinterest, sultry siren that she is, curls her comely finger at me.

BTW, did you read this on Remodelista? How I learned to Love Pinterest by Diane Keaton (don’t read it ’til you finish my post!)

See what I mean? You peeked, didn’t you?

(I know I’m not the only ADD person around here )

Then, oh, I don’t know…the phone rings, the dishwasher breaks, my credit card gets hacked, more emails & texts pop up.

 I go back to editing photos…hold the phone, wouldn’t this look great Waterlogued?? Wow-that looks so cool-I should have it printed!

In fact, I should print a bunch of them as gift cards, or maybe a book of Waterlogue photos on Artifact Uprising

Are you Waterloguing your face off?!

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“Oh my — In the past 24 hours, I have Waterlogued EVERYTHING … old family snapshots, my friends’ houses, flowers, palm trees, sunset/sunrise, postcards, impressionists’ paintings, my toes, and on and on. Truly an impressive amount of fun for $2.99. Did you know that the creator has two other photo editing apps: percolator and popsicolor? Percolator looks kinda klimt-y.”

(Thank you to Slim reader Susan Hodges for her comment above on my last post)

Are you also aware of the oil painting App Glaze”?

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and, and, and,

 That book mentioned in the NYT’s this Sunday sounded fabulous, I should download it on my Kindle-whoah-what’s this? A choice of a free book a month as well as one from the Amazon Prime Lending Library…what else should I get? I’ve never read “Middlemarch” and this one recommended on Instagram looks good!

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This could be the answer to all my problems

Wait, is that the time? I have to get to physical therapy!

797142e90277f393a9e3d0769fc426d3 I continue to make good progress-this is just about my range at the moment.

I haven’t even touched on the fact that it’s hockey season (I’ve switched allegiance from the Vancouver Canucks to the LA Kings who are killing me-nope, I take it back, they just scored! I have to go on Twitter for a minute)

Yes, I am watching hockey as I post.

K, I’m back. We won! Where was I?? Oh, and the Olympics are starting tonight.

Are you going to be watching?  I’m torn. I’m worried that Sochi’s like the kid who has a birthday party and nobody comes. Crap cake, bad party favours.

I want to support the athletes (not just the hockey players!) BUT it’s  just…

Let’s face it, it’s another thing to DO.

It will keep me from…DOING other things!

And believe you me,  I haven’t even touched on all the boring sh#%

Not going there.

Is it the weekend yet??

Have a Focused one :-)

x0xSP

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Past chats

Can We Talk?  07/09/2012

Can We Talk?? (#2) 11/12/2011

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A Hat, an App and The Fab Four…

watercolours slimpaley.com

Newport RI. slimpaley.com

It’s Friday and

I’m in love…

with a new App that I must share, in case you haven’t discovered it yet.

 It takes your photos, like the one above

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and does this.

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and this. In like 10 seconds.

It’s called

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 Here’s the link;  WATERLOGUE

Amanwella, Sri Lanka slimpaley.com

The Amanwella hotel, Sri Lanka

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The watercolour I did not paint when I was there.

The Ivy slimpaley.com

A very blurry and rushed iPhone photo

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just became a little more interesting.

Here’s Waterlogue’s story;

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vintage ice machine slimpaley.com

Original iPhone photo

ice machine slimpaley.com Instagram

makes its way onto ‘Instagram’

Painted in Waterlogue Slimpaley.com

and then ‘Waterlogued’

I’ll admit it’s a bit of a cheat, and certainly doesn’t come close to a real hand-done watercolour (except, ya it does!) but it’s so much fun!

Perhaps it might even inspire one to really paint.

marble kitchen  counter slimpaley.com

Our kitchen counter

Painted in Waterlogue

becomes a sweet little vignette

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A bedroom at the beach house (photo via House Beautiful)
Painted in Waterlogue

Ta-fricking-da!

There are plenty of options to play with; depth of colours, brush strokes etc.

 for example,

Waterlogue info

but don’t let this scare you in any way- click 3 times Dorothy and bam, you’re an artist.

It’s THAT easy.

beach house slimpaley.com house beautiful

Another pic from the beach house (photo via House Beautiful)

Painted in Waterlogue

You can get as abstract as your little artistic heart desires

Waterlogues may be instantly emailed, tweeted, Tumblr-d, Instagramed, even sent as snail mail postcards directly from your account (for an additional $1.99)

The Front Porch, Sun Valley, slimpaley.com

  “The Front Porch” store in Sun Valley, Idaho

Painted in Waterlogue slimpaley.com

I really like this one, even if I do say so myself, but that’s part of the fun.  You never know how the pics will turn out. Some photos I think will be great don’t translate well and vice-versa. I’ve only just begun to play.

‘Waterlogue’ may very well have created their ultimate monster in me.

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Lastly, as my post title promised, a flashback…

Not sure how many of you caught the Grammy Awards last Sunday, but much ado was made of Pharrell’s choice of “chapeau”

Now I’m not one to toot my own horn ( except every possible chance I get :-) ) but the moment I spied that HAT I was transported right back to 1980′s London faster than you can say “Kajagoogoo”!

I couldn’t resist chiming in to the Twitter Universe immediately ( I believe I was the first to call it-cue horn) to inform all the haters that, in fact, Pharrell was sporting an uber cool vintage Vivienne Westwood/Malcom McLaren “Buffalo Girls” hat.

Yes, I’m that old and also apparently proud of it on occasion!

Pharrell's Vivienne Westwood hat

Pharrell's hat

These were early, East Coast feed tweets, People!!

BTW, Ronan never tweeted me back. Whatever…see if I watch his new show now.

Although I realise Malcolm McLaren & Vivs Westwood weren’t as well known Stateside, if you’re young and even vaguely interested or, um, perhaps just wish to ignite old memories too, you can click to view the original video HERE

As I hash-tagged in my tweet…nothing’s ever really new, just re-intrepeted.

Pharrell  Beatles special slimpaley.com

PS. Pharrell wore THE hat again the next night at the taping of ‘The Night That Changed America; A Grammy Salute to the The Beatles’  which I was most awesomely lucky enough to attend.

The Beatles 50th anniversary show , slimpaley.com

And what an brilliant show it was. I don’t want to spoil the surprises-just watch if you possibly can. It airs February 9th on CBS-50 years to the day The Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.

50 years.

George Harrison slimpaley.com

Have a FAB weekend and we’ll chat again…

in February!

xoxSP

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PS. I have no affiliation nor receive any free stuff from Waterlogue

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Amongst the Shadows

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silhouette [ˌsɪluːˈɛt]

n
1. the outline of a solid figure as cast by its shadow
2. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms) an outline drawing filled in with black, often a profile portrait cut out of black paper and mounted on a light ground
 
 

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So, I was going through my blog’s draft files on WordPress the other day and came upon this 1/2 finished post.

(one of 99 no less, speaking of Short Attention Span Theatre :-()

 I’d been inspired by a shot I’d taken of my older son’s girlfriend cooking in our Sun Valley kitchen last winter.

With the light behind her and the sharp angle of her pretty hair, I was reminded of those old fashioned silhouettes.

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A hundred years ago, you’d have been hard-pressed to find a home that didn’t have a silhouette or two hanging on the wall.

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They were insanely popular the world over, from the grand salons of France to ‘Little House on the Prairie’ cabins across America.

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107453141081341090_syL7gzLS_cI remember making silhouettes in art class back in elementary school and having my own silhouette done at a fair…

Don’t you?!

remodelista---chapel-lane-irish-linen-winter-feast-here-tea-cloth-b3-jpegLinen napkin image via Remodelista

of course once I started writing the post I began to see images of silhouettes everywhere.

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 Was it just that my radar was up, or were they enjoying a revival?

armfield_rchmnd-17Leta Austin Foster

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Someone once showed me how to take a photographic silhouette with the settings on my camera. Unfortunately I neither practiced nor wrote the settings down, so that info’s gone….poooof!

I googled it, but most internet directions involve using ‘Photoshop’ after the fact.

and there’s another thing I’ll never learn.

983c596395acf25d73997e164d8f68f1How do you do get the light at the front and dark right behind it??

wedding-photo-by-minneapolis-wedding-photographer-geneoh-photography-19via here

or this effect?

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Custom Chalk

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Marie Antoinette silhouette via Janelle McCullogh’s “Paris” book

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framed art restoration hardwareRestoration Hardware

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perhaps they are having a bit of a renaissance.

Graham MossThis image via Graham Moss is a nice example of how silhouettes can be used to  ‘modern’ effect.

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Jenny Lee Fowler

Indeed, they have changed with the times.

630.x600.art.openerContemporary artist Kara Walker turns the traditional concept of ‘Silhouettes’ on its head with her cut-paper images that critically address gender, sexuality, race and power within an antebellum tableau.

9910_12-kara_walker_6442_GoneKara Walker

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Passers-by in the Raval, Barcelona by geoffbcn on Flickr

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More recently, I caught our young sweethearts in another fun moment at the Chicago Museum of Modern Art.

*Note; a few days later my son cut off a full foot of his hair to donate, so I’m happy to have this ‘vintage’ silhouette.

The moustache…I’m still working on. :-)

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an almost comical silhouette warns of pickpocketing on the streets of Portugal

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Last month, the NYC Police vandal squad were busy searching for the elusive British artist Banksy, who’d promised to unveil an installation a day during his month long ‘residency’ in NYC.

Mayor Bloomberg was not amused.

with perfect irony, Banksy’s work of art was tagged right after it was finished…what’s good for the goose…

supporters of Banksy supposedly removed the graffiti.

streetartnews_banksy2013The question (which arose once before on my “Graffiti” post) as to whether these clandestine installations, both on public and private property, constitute ‘Art’ or not is an interesting one.

Though I appreciate arguments on both sides of the aisle, I found myself chuckling at this comment left on one site;

Mike: “…If you want to make art you need to buy materials. brushes, paint, whatever. If you want to make art then buy a canvas, If you want to paint a wall then buy a wall. My wall is not your canvas. If you can’t afford to buy a wall then cry me a river. I want to make landscaping sculptures and so I’m going to come over to your house and dig up your yard to make my sculptures…”
 
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You see how this argument could get heated-
Is there anything more subjective than “Art”?!

BanksyUnfortunately (actually, he probably doesn’t give a toss as it only brought him more publicity) Banksy lost many supporters after he harshly criticized the design of the new World Trade Center.

and usually the British have such good manners!

a15483e27346956f38d9de56a0c40fbdphoto by Ara Guler

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Slim Paley photo

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m still rather chuffed with the Instagram ‘silhouette’  I took in Utah a few months back.

It’s always all about the light, isn’t it?!

peter pan

Jenny Lee Fowler

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Leaf  silhouettes via Jenny Lee Fowler

Blast from the Past: PHySicAl GrafFiTi 

all other uncredited photos via Flickr or Pinterest

Anniversary at Amangiri

UtahSouthern Utah

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Happy First Week of August!

Here in Santa Barbara we continue to wake up to grey, gloomy skies

morning after morning, after morning.

Sure, it clears by mid-day most of the time but at the risk of sounding like a TV commercial, it makes such a difference to start the day off with sunshine don’t you think?!

We had no such problem in Utah earlier this year, where we traveled with a few close friends to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

The colour of the sky in the photo above is true, no filter, nada.

flying over Lake Powell

Arriving by air you catch an amazing view of a turquoise Lake Powell and the striated cliffs of the surrounding canyons.

Amangiri hotel, Utah

My girlfriends check out the view as we arrive at the entrance of our hotel.

The Amangiri  has been on my Travel Wish List since it first opened 4-5 years ago so I was thrilled to experience it on such a momentous occasion.

And I do believe hitting the 25 year mark in marriage these days can be considered momentous!

The hotel was everything we had hoped for and more.

First off, may I say that the huge pool area is outrageous and was built around a boulder that’s about 9 billion years old.

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OK, I don’t remember exactly how old it is but something really mind bendingly crazy.

You can see why I never considered being a geologist. Or a museum docent.

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(photo via Amangiri)

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The hotel sits in such a harmoniously unobtrusive manner that it’s barely visible until you’re almost directly upon it.

Way to go Amangiri architects.

Seriously.  I’ve had chin hairs more prominent.

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The dashes of ultra saturated colours you glimpse here and there in the desert never fail to enthrall me.

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Like all Aman resorts, the rooms are low-key, tasteful and chic.

Here, my hat with the bag, hat & walking stick the room provides.

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Stargazing bed, Amangiri Hotel, Utah

A star gazing bed on the roof of the only two-bedroom suite in the resort.

And you definitely want to be gazing skyward in the desert night.

Amangiri hotel, Utah

The complex is single-storied and designed so every room has both a beautiful bathroom with soaking tub, and a terrace with a fire pit facing out to the spectacular views.

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Two of my favourite words

spa

The spa does not disappoint. In fact, the technicians, despite their average age of, oh I’d say 19 (?!) were truly fantastic.

As were the yoga classes.

cocktails

Cocktails were generous, despite being poured in Utah.

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One cocktail and a 90 minute massage later, a spa-selfie is in order.

Do I really have to get dressed for dinner??

I dropped my phone on the concrete floor after this photo.

Relaxed much??

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The architecture, interior courtyards & walkways are full of interesting angles, shifts of light

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and spare, desert appropriate landscaping.

There isn’t a superfluous detail

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yet around every corner or slatted wall there’s something wonderful to discover

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The jacuzzi “amphitheatre” where we watched a movie projected against the wall one night.

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Peeking through the slats

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If relaxing poolside with a book is not your thaing, there are plenty of opportunities to get all sporty, including some great hikes…

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In the distance you see the cave we hiked to from the hotel.  (Peer pressure)

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Slim Paley Instagram

My instagram shot from the cave interior

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The Amangiri also offers a 3 hour complimentary photography lesson and hike.

Here, my silhouette shot of the instructor

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who imparted some really interesting tips about lighting and composition…

In addition to a plethora of geological information that I’d completely forgotten by the time we drove back to the hotel.

But these mountains and rocks are like really super ancient and form and deform in fascinating(ish) ways at a pace I can relate to.

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On a more serious note, we also fell madly in love with how skinny we looked in our shadow selfies :-)

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is just a short drive away, so one day we rented a boat and explored. I had NO idea of the vastness of the lake. It looked nothing like what I was expecting!

Lake Powell, Utah

Unfortunately, it clouded over a little that afternoon but the scenery was breathtaking nonetheless.

We docked the boat at one point and hiked to Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge, Utah

One the U.S.’s National Monuments, Rainbow Bridge is truly a site to experience.

Hiking Utah

A couple of the boys hiking back from Rainbow.

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For the more adventurous in our group, there was also a rock-climbing excursion (pinions, clamps, helmets, the whole 9 yards)

The pay off was traversing this suspension bridge at the top.

Super.

Don’t strain your eyes looking for me in this photo.

I’m back at the spa. Looking for the piece of my phone.

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Desert ‘Roses’

Amangiri hotel Utah

As night descends  on the Amangiri, a thousand lanterns light the labyrinth of paths and destinations where one can enjoy cocktails, dinner, or a movie under the stars.

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and when it’s time to retire, simply hook the  braided horsehair “Privacy” rope across the entrance to your suite.

(Genius. SO stealing this. Not the actual rope, just the concept)

Slim Paley

We shall see you again beautiful  Southern Utah.

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Until then, thanks for the wonderful memories.

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 Amangiri is located in the south west corner of the State of Utah, in the area referred to as ” The Four Corners”

The closest airport is in Page, Arizona, about a 25 minute drive from the hotel which provides complimentary shuttle services there and back.

For more information and photos of Amangiri click HERE

Happy Travels and Happy Weekend!

xxSP

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*PS. I have no affiliation with, nor receive any compensation whatsoever from The Aman Resorts.

Sadly.

Even though I’m a really loyal client. And I never took that rope.

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Happy Summer Solstice!

gingerbread cottage

Summer’s HERE!!

Even though I live in Southern California I still get so excited about its official arrival, don’t you?!

Would that it last as long as it did when we were children. An eternity, it seemed.

Growing up in Vancouver, where it stayed light until almost 10pm at night, we’d ride our bikes to the park to play softball, fluorescent ‘clackers’ spinning on tire spokes, streamers flying from our handle bars until the street lights signaled it was time to go home. Occasionally a friend would show up at our front door on a horse instead of a bike and we’d end up at ‘The Barn’ where I’d marvel (be jealous) at the girls who weren’t afraid of horses the way I was. I wanted my parents to have Avocado Green appliances more than I wanted a horse of my own. I think that was telling sign of what was coming down the pipeline, don’t you?!

 As we got older, we’d walk barefoot to the beach (OK, we often hitchhiked, swear to God, but never at night and never alone. What were we thinking?? It was a different world back then) our leather fringed purses (twice as big as our cut-offs) bulging with “Sun-In”, baby oil, cigarettes, Yardley “Pot-o-Gloss”, hairbrushes, Sweet Tarts and salted sunflower seeds. No sunscreen. No sunglasses. No phones or cameras.

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Like I said, a different world.

It was sweet.

Now that I’m a grown-up (most of the time) I no longer sit in the sun. I really miss it, as well as the tan, but I know it’s not worth it. I certainly don’t wear cut-offs the size of a hang-nail and pay a hell of a lot more  to colour my hair. Friends no longer show up at the door on horseback and I own my own car, so that takes care of the hitch-hiking issue.

But let’s not get all melancholy, there’s still plenty of fun to be had when summer arrives!

fdef4c7fb7a7b254ce428b28072f7ab9image via Pinterest

We’re so blessed here in Santa Barbara, with beautiful beaches and stunning mountains just a mile or so in from the water’s edge.

In less than 1/2 hour we can be over those mountains and into the wine regions of Los Olivos and Santa Ynez.

pink roses on my porch

Roses from my garden sit on the front porch.

My garden brings me pleasure I never would have predicted in my younger years. I wear a big hat, have my favourite wooden handled clippers… I’m half-way to wearing Liberty print gardening gloves truth be told.

My brother even bought me this so I could enjoy my evening glass of wine while I’m gardening (is this a brother gift, or what?!)

gardening glass with lid

In fact, I did a thorough walk around my property the other day and decided to buy myself another little gift to celebrate the first day of Summer;

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For the bigger jobs. and it’s cordless. So exciting! I really wanted the fluorescent green one (like my old clackers) but this one had the best rating.

Yes, times have changed.

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So what are your plans this summer?

ImageAre you looking forward to a long lazy one filled with languorous hours of reading?

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Will you stick close to home, do lots of grilling, making home made ice-creams, sorbets and popsicles with your kids?

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Mango Lassi Popsicle recipe

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Perhaps you’ll be boating like Kate? (you simply must have plenty of black & white in your summer wardrobe-but that’s another post!)

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Take a family holiday to Europe or go water-skiing on a chilly lake?

Lake Muskoka, Ontario

Beautiful Lake Muskoka, Ontario

Shasta trailerTake a road trip  (I saw this beauty in Los Olivos)

38325ab6556782aef43a2e84c94f3341Re-do a guest room in cool tones

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Update your draperies, white wash your kitchen (I’m thinking of it) or have some summer slip-covers made?

Slim Paley's car slipcoversPhoto of my car by David Tsay for House Beautiful

ha ha!  I still have the car, but I’m afraid the chintz slip covers, like my old cut-offs are way past their prime :-)

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Will you go biking, sailing, play tennis, swim your heart out, or run your first marathon

Or maybe just set a goal to read ten GREAT books?

that sounds wonderful to me!

tumblr_md1kj7Gn4s1rpx9bqo1_500And will you be looking for the “Super Moon” tonight?

(ps. I started this post on Friday night-Summer’s almost over for God’s sake)

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Me, at a friend’s home, taking a photo of a weird ring around the sun in Montecito

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See that’s the wonderful, fabulous, exciting thing about Summer

Your options are as numerous as the stars.

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*Wooden Popsicles by Johnny Hermann

HAPPY SUMMER!!!!

May it be long, fun and memorable in the best possible way.

xoxo

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“Johnny Hermann is the alter-ego of craftsman & designer Mauro Savoldi from Milan. He re-creates the vibrant, colorful magic of summer ices, recalling one of the sweetest and most nostalgic treasures of our past.”

FYI; The original “popsicle” was invented by an 11 year old boy in San Francisco in 1905.

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