29 May 2009

Lemonade Award

Thanks to the lovely Keryn of Eighty Days Design and her other blog gryb at home, I've been awarded the Lemonade Award. Now, to choose only 1o of the most delightful and inspiring blogs that I love!

1. Figen of The Knit Box has inspired me with her new blog. After many years of thinking about having a blog, she finally did it, and her writing, thoughts, and free knitting patterns are so engaging.

2. A new quilter myself, I find Rachel Griffith's p.s. i quilt totally inspiring and funny. With her playfulness and complete love of quilting, I've found myself hooked. Patchwork, here I come.

3. I know that getting a humble Lemonade Award from me might not mean much to a pro-blogger like Anna Maria Horner, but because of her I wait by my blog reader daily with cup of coffee in hand for updates on her studio, her fabric, and her new baby.

4. How About Orange makes me very happy, every day. I love Jessica's tutorials, bright and cheerful photographs, and her Friday Time Wasters.

5. The happy ladies of Intarsia Concept instruct those of us in arts and craft based businesses how to stay afloat, how to pursue those dreams, and most of all, how to make it all happen in a practical way.

6. Having just discovered Ruth's Crafting Istanbul, adventures of a would-be needlewoman, I'm hooked.

7. My friend Tara's blog reminds me always of the good things people are doing in the world, and she writes about social responsibility in a thoughtful, and meaningful way.

8. Ilknur of Bosphorus Glass makes beautiful handmade glass beads, and has just started silversmithing. She's a girl with amazing talent and a million ideas.

9. In Turkish, but with lots of beautiful photos, Kımızı Minder is a glimpse into a life and design blog in Istanbul.

10. From pillows to embroidery, industrial design to surface pattern and notecards, Twig & Thistle rounds up the best and most interesting things out there into one juicy blog.

And that's it, folks! For those of you who want to pass along the award if you've been nominated on this list, read below.*

Every now and then it's really nice to narrow down the blog pool. Some days I can look at my blog roll and get totally overwhelmed. So much to see, so much to read, but what I come back to time and time again are blogs driven by a passion and goal to share, to create, and to ignite their readers with a sense of inclusion and inspiration to create.

*To pick up the Lemonade Stand Award:
- Comment on this blog.
- Copy the award and save to your computer, and then upload it to your blog.
- Nominate 5 to 10 blogs you feel show great attitude and gratitude.
- Link to your nominees within your blog post.
- Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.
- Link back to the person who gave you the award to show your appreciation.

28 May 2009

Tangents at the Market

This container and these bowls came home with me the other day when I went to the market. I'm not sure how it happens, but after I pick up the pasta, the milk, the bread, I wander over to the household items. Sometimes I look at socks, and eye the newest shampoo. It's all a diversion on my way to the check-out, a kind of daydreaming while looking at things I don't need and would never buy. Last week when I went, I looked at serving trays and cake stands, swooning over a glass turquoise cake stand. But every single one was broken in the box, the top separated from the stand. Clearly it had not been adhered properly, and was sadly poorly made. I usually have to eye my cart before I leave to make sure I have more food than 'things' because I can get carried away looking for pretty things to decorate with, and it seems now more than ever that in Turkey the shelves are getting flooded with things made in China. Unfortunately, the cake stand was made in Turkey by a brand that I typically like. Hopefully this isn't a sign of poor quality to come.

20 May 2009

A Slice of Studio

Seams to Me, by Anna Maria Horner on top of my first patchwork quilt, followed by a couple shelving photos. I've been in organization mode, repurposing plexi containers and bins that once held magazines and then toys. Lately I've been buying binders and putting everything in a clear folder. Fun.

Red and Aqua

My two favorite colors in the whole world meet in our kitchen. The vintage stitching that I had framed here in Turkey is from Emily Lynch Vintage, and the apron was my mother's, given to me last year by my grandmother. I love the country home feel of it, which is fitting because we grew up in a country home. The small framed embroidery next to the apron on the door was made by my friend Jill.

14 May 2009


As an art and design blog, plus some things and ideas I just want to share, I haven't really talked much about my writing or posted any links about the recent articles I've written as an expat mother for the Hurriyet Daily News. I also have scores of unpublished short stories, things I've gotten the thumbs up about by friends who have generously offered to read them, but they are awaiting action.

I'm not here to muse on the how's or when's of it, just sharing this information with you to also remind myself that this part of my life where I sit down and write between diaper changes, sewing, prepping canvas, and making homemade hummos (tonight's delight!) also has a place. Being in print both frightens and thrills me, which means I'm not quite seasoned enough. If I were, I would be more used to seeing my name in the newspaper (the paper kind, not the online one). Thanks to a dear friend, I've learned just to shut up and write, stop talking about it and do it. So for the remainer of 2009, that's my task.

My most recent contribution to the Hurriyet Daily News was for Mother's Day in the Local Expats Corner: To All Our Mother's Near and Far.

Motherhood in Turkey began for me nearly three years ago, early in the morning in late October. In the history of motherhood, this is but a blip on a radar screen, but it connects me to a legion of mothers that have come before and will come after me.

It is humbling to think as mothers we carry in our eggs future generations, even more so when we know that the grandmothers who birthed our mothers carried the egg that created us. Nestled inside us are generations.

To read the rest of the article, click here. And here are links to two more recent articles:

A Home of One's Own, Turkish Style
The Architecture of Looking from Outside

There is a third that I wrote, my first, that didn't make it into the online edition. Which is okay because the irony in it was lost on the editor who retitled it and it made me sound like a self-inflated, completely vain mother. So I won't be sharing that right now. As for the others, I hope you enjoy. Coming up next is Part 2 of A Home of One's Own, Turkish Style for the weekend of May 16-17, 2009.

12 May 2009

Day Job

I thought there might be some of you that wonder just what it is I do when I creep off to 'work'. This is not of the painting and drawing variety, but the earning hard cold cash one. Well, I buy things, take pictures of them, and write about them. Once in a while I take a few pictures of things that seem, well, rather poetic. If the bottom of a jar of pickles can be so. In the interest of protecting privacy and the anonymity of the manufacturers, as well as my own credibility with the company I work for, I'm not posting anything that reveals any identities. Just enjoy the pics, and I may from time to time pull a few more out of my stash whenever I want to share the bottom of an aluminum can. Until then, you now can see where I get to exercise my right to detail; up close I think some of these products are simply beautiful in a singular, pre-consumed way... before the package is ripped into, served, thrown away.

Return to Sender

The sketchbook that I sent to the Art House Gallery got returned to me today, and I have no idea why because none of the little boxes were checked on the USPS sticker. Sad me. But check out the really cool stamps on the envelope! When I send out a package, I never see the stamps because they only weigh it and put it in a stack. Only when someone on the receiving end shows me, or like today, I get a package returned, do I get to see the stamps.

The stamps with the soup in it says "Yüksük Çorbası" which must be a traditional Turkish soup. 'Yüksük' directly translates as "thimble" and sure enough, those little white pods look like thimbles. Maybe one of my Turkish friends can enlighten me about this soup? And then tell me how to make it? It looks delicious.

Happy Tuesday, friends. Oh, and notice the very lovely fabric staging the wayward package? Yep, lots and lots of happy fabric came my way this past week thanks to these three Etsy shops: Down Shadow Lane, It's Sew Me Fabrics, and A Fabric Outlet. I couldn't be happier. Now I have to start sewing!