Friday, April 30, 2010

With Your Morning Coffee

When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses? Or to admire the etchings of a street urchin? Or to listen to the complex melody of a street busker's violin? Do you take time out of your day to appreciate what beauty and goodness there is in the world?

Recently, a very talented violinist stationed himself in a Metro Station in Washington, D.C. during morning rush hour and played nearly an hour of Bach, just to see who might stop to listen. In the first few minutes, one man stopped for a few seconds and then hurried on. A minute later a woman tossed a dollar into his case without stopping to look or to listen. After six minutes, a younger man stopped long enough to lean against the wall... but then he looked at his watch and thought it best to carry on. Around ten minutes into his playing, this busker courted the audience of a three year old boy, who was the first of many children to take a keen interest and try to stop. None of these children were allowed to benefit from this rare glimpse of unexpected beauty however, as their parents hurriedly pushed them along to whichever destination was more important. Not one parent, not one, saw importance in letting their children be carried away by their obvious appreciation of what is truly important in this world. Not to mention an experience they will most likely never again have the opportunity to enjoy.

I say this about the once in a lifetime experience, because this man's baseball cap belied the fact that his violin was a Stradivari violin, worth about $3.5 million... and that he was, in fact, Joshua Bell, whose Concert Hall performance in Boston three days earlier had sold out with the starting price for decent tickets at $100 per seat. He is one of the finest and highly respected musicians in the world. Interview magazine once said his playing "does nothing less than tell human beings why they bother to live." He spent an hour of his time playing some of the most complex and beautiful pieces of music ever written... to deaf ears. As part of a social experiment organized by the Washington Post, Joshua ended his performance of continual playing for 45 minutes $32 richer. About twenty people gave money, but didn't stop to appreciate what they were paying for. In total, out of the 1097 people who passed by (the Post counted) only six stopped. Only six. When he concluded his piece, there was silence. Not one person applauded. Nobody noticed that he had even stopped playing.

The experiment was done to question if we perceive beauty in an unconventional space, time or context. I was sent this this morning from my mother, and got online to see what I could find about it. What I found, was comments from readers of other posts who wrote in to say that they were not surprised at the outcome and, in fact, would have found the man in the metro annoying. That buskers should be more respectful of other people's space, or schedule... that they should get a job... or worse. I have always seen buskers as a bonus to life in the city. How wonderful is it that while waiting for the light to change on the corner (I walk everywhere) I can be treated to a bit from that young girl who is intelligent enough to make pocket money while doing her mandatory violin practice, a sax solo from the rasta with dreads down to his knees that should be playing in some smokey members only club in Manhattan, the old guy who knows a few magic tricks and is trying like crazy to supplement his ridiculously low pension by bringing joy to a few faces?

I was talking to my brother once on the main drag and a friend of his came up to us to share a piece from a poetry book he had just started reading. While he was reading, a police officer came up to him and told him that if he was going to do that he would need to pay for a busker's license or he would be fined. Fined! For reading poetry! When my parents first moved to this wonderful small town they decided to take my four year old son down to the park to see some gathered musicians that they had passed while on their way over. When they got back to the park, the police were just finishing rounding them up, fining them and evicting them for causing a disturbance in a public space. What???

Yes, I have a few questions of my own.

"If we can't take the time out of our lives to stay a moment and listen to one of the best musicians on Earth play some of the best music ever written; if the surge of modern life so overpowers us that we are deaf and blind to something like that -- then what else are we missing?"

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How is this for a fabulous start to Spring! I had to share this mini tipi village from Three Owls with you even though they are just hot off the sewing table. Aren't they gorgeous?

They just make me happy to look at them... and I am willing to bet that they would make pretty much the same impression in any yard or playroom. I will be eeking space out for my boys to get one (might have to fit at Grandma's till we move) as soon as possible. They come in all sizes, up to 9 feet, so I think I will be finding space for me to have one too. Remember that movie about Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz switching houses and Diaz hooks up with Jude Law and when she finally meets his daughters they live in the most fantastic fort of fairy lights and pink gauze? I am thinking that this here might be the foundation for my own pink gauzy fort. I will have to ask her if she makes them in pink :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Habit Forming Wedding Addiction...

Apparently I am now a wedding blog. It's not my fault, it is just because there are so many gorgeous things to fit under the wedding category now. Back in the day I had to go to my fair (well, unfair if you were to ask me) share of wedding shows. The big annoying kind with flourescent lighting and bad music where the only plus was that you got to sample a petit four or two. Oh, well there was that one time where during the fashion show the tux guys made a bet amongst themselves that at the end when they wore the kilts they would all go commando and surprise the audience with a "show" to remember. That was brilliant. Anyhow, as I was saying, these days we have a little something called c.r.e.a.t.i.v.i.t.y. to really spice things up with the bridal scene. Thank the gods!

I was just over trying to nominate a friend on the etsy voter page and got sent to the wrong set of photos. Which of course happened to be the wedding set. And such lovely things there were there... am I allowed to infringe on etsy territory like this? It's definitely a promo... you might consider any of these pretties even if you are not getting married, but having been made to take part on far too many of these things, I can vouch that using ANY of these as inspiration for a theme would completely up the bar for your event. Imagine your table lined with rows of these...

Just randomly placed amongst twisted branches and gorgeous greenery... with these at the place settings, gorgeous!

Then you could re-use them over and over in your home or give them as favours. Love dual purpose. And the boys should be looking all dapper in these...

and these...

If you are going to do the invitations up fancy, they don't get much much more fabulous than this lovely ladie's creations. I have ogled her work before, but this set made me salivate. I now need uber gorgeous invites to my birthday party. I know, they seem extravagant, but really, if you knew...

These are pretty brilliant...

...but to be totally honest, the entire reason I put this post together is because of this dress... or should I say "exquisite work of art"... SO pretty, SO unique, SO perfect. I am in adoration. (I refuse to say j'adore, you can't make me.) Somebody really amazing should be getting married in this gown. Or just maybe get a bit older in it. Just sayin'...

This dress isn't actually in the Voter series, for some insane reason she listed another very pretty but less interesting dress. The best part of this gown is that it is created from eco sensitive fabrics. The hand appliqued landscape panel is handcrafted using hemp/silk and wild silk with over forty blossoms among the intertwined tree limbs. Stunning. People, if you are going to buy something fabulous, look for it on etsy first. I am telling you, there is no way you are going to find a gown in a store with this attention to detail for less than three grand. Especially in gorgeous fabrics like these. I can fully attest to the beautiful hand and drape of natural fabrics, remember that the entire reason they started making polyester was to emulate fabrics like these on the cheap. If the panel is a little much for you and you prefer something on the simpler side, go and take a gander at her shop, she has a number of lovely pieces in very soft and simple styles.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Such Pretty Things in Matramoniville

OK, so now I am on a roll... I am trying to send out some PR for these Celebration Quilts for wedding season and having done the last post, I seem to just be happy getting sidetracked into hours spent going from one exquisite photo to the next. How unbelievably stunning is this? I am so doing this this summer, even if it seems extravagant for a barbecue. Seriously, anyone who knows me at all would not be surprised :)

The image above comes from Dog n'Bird, which is completely worth all the button pushing it will take to get over there and peruse through the pages of stunning ideas... whether you are in the market or not. SO many nifty ideas and pretty things to look at.

I found them through which is just a compilation of fabulous wedding details and links to their surrogates. Worth checking out also because, let's face it, weddings are just fun to look at. Hey, is it spring? Must be. They also had a pic of the most amazingly divine cupcake in existence from Sugarbloom in Perth (via love and lavender, also a pretty brilliant site).

I am all about anything with random script, if I could get a pattern for it I would sew everything with script on it. This is my plan for my upcoming Marie Antoinette party, but shhhh, do not tell anyone! Speaking of which, which we were not! Anyone know where one can purchase online good quality chocolate quail eggs? Just curious.