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A Field Journal

A Field Journal
A Beautiful Compilation of all things old fashioned, timeless, simple and lovely.
Articles: 1, 2


Odds and Ends
2008-04-12 10:38:00
The week that opened with a spell of sweater weather, I ended poolside - the heat of Friday noon lingering into dusk. A wooded perimeter cast long shadows on the open lawn that slopes toward the blue of swimming pools and shrill echoes of lifeguard whistles. It's among those rare places on campus, unexpectedly idyllic and tauntingly carefree. Reluctantly, I headed home, toward a weekend of the usual textbooks and to-dos.Resolved to finally mend a frayed jacket cuff, I pulled out my sewing box - a button of a yellow, seam ripper in blue, pin dots of pearlescence. It was then I discovered that beauty pervades even the most disagreeable obligations. In this case it takes the form of a color combination I can't help embracing along with the warm weather. Citrus yellows and hydrating blues turned up in other weekly tasks as well - designing a website appearance {upper portion of the collage below} for a new project at work, and day-dreamily browsing Anthropologie's "Open House" {lower...
More About: Odds , Ends
2008-04-01 08:40:00
I'm pleased to announce that things are now back in order after a brief mishap involving a faulty hard drive, a year's worth of irretrievable data, and one very disappointed (but not disheartened) girl. Thank you for all of your kind words and support! I'm starting fresh with a blank slate and looking forward to recreating lost designs, streamlining and reorganizing. Meanwhile spring has arrived - quite a timely parallel, for the season's fresh start is the most beautiful of all.Above, a collection of snapshots from my Easter Sunday: Leaving school and city behind, I returned home to find a rambling and charmingly haphazard garden alive with blossoms and bluebirds (to my surprise). While the feathery visitors were far too elusive for my lens, I managed well enough with some close-ups of my father's prize daffodils. And after seeing delicate white petals flutter from tree branches, I couldn't help but recall a passage from my girlhood favorite, Anne of Green Gables. I gathered...
More About: Springtime
Click Your Heels
2008-03-16 04:36:00
After being tagged - by my esteemed fellow bloggers Creature Comforts, Theresa J, Jewels and Knits, Moose, and In the Night Kitchen - to share seven facts about me, I'm finally facing the music with (sorry to break the rules) one fact about what I do when I'm not drawing, painting, crafting, designing or studying. So without further ado, an ode to Irish dance. It was a most enjoyable pastime, perfectly suited to my love of beauty, tradition and history. I put in nine years of lessons, practices, performances and competitions (yes, those are my feet in the photos!). I unfortunately had to quit upon going away to college, and have since tried to fill the void by taking up tap here at the university. However, at times I feel like a bit of an outsider in the mainstream dance world.{About} Two types of shoes are worn - soft shoes (ghillies) and hard shoes (more akin to tap shoes). Soft shoe dances are graceful yet bouncy, incorporating leaps, hops and kicks, while hard shoe dances in...
More About: Click , Heels
Ship Shape
2008-03-11 02:15:00
Dear me! I've scarcely had a chance to post. Final exams are approaching and I've also been hard at work on a new project - it's a surprise to be unveiled here in the coming months! But for now, I've put together some snapshots of a Natural Historie order packaged for shipping.{How an Order is Ship ped} Earlier this winter I redesigned my thank you notes - they're now stylish textured flat cards, with quirky pin dots, a few of my sketches and a lovely script font. The thank you note and order (in this case a set of Robin Egg Tags) are tucked inside a pristine sheet of light pink tissue paper, secured with a dotted blue seal, and slipped into a padded envelope. Just a few shipping labels on the front and it's on its way. P.S. If you're enamored with envelopes and embellishments you mustn't miss Good Things Come in Pretty Packages.
More About: Shape
2008-03-01 03:10:00
I recently celebrated a birthday, spending a wintry weekend consumed in lovely and simple amusements. A morning spent in the kitchen happily dipping strawberries in chocolate and icing cupcakes a dreamy light pink gave way to an afternoon of golden garlands, papery crafts and perfect place settings. After dinner out, a party of six sat down at twenty past seven to savor a delicate, decadent dessert of sherbets, strawberries, cakes and tea.Snapshots: {1} Homemade cupcake and a solitary candle sit atop a table strewn with decorations {2} Place setting with handmade box - tea bags and packets of sugar reside inside {3} On handmade boxes the little doe I sketched and painted stands coyly near a line of text that reads "for you deer" - these will surely inspire a new product at Natural Historie {4} Simple vanilla cupcake, frosted in pink {5} Homemade chocolate covered strawberry, liberally coated in creamy milk chocolate and indulgent dark chocolate drizzle {6} A lovely banner, with hand...
More About: Twenty
A Nice Note
2008-02-22 08:48:00
During a particularly busy week, I found amidst the fray of to-dos, requests and deadlines in my inbox, an exceptionally thoughtful note. Melissa of Acts of Kindness (quite appropriately named), took the time to send me a snapshot (appearing above in the speech bubble) of the way she's displayed her recently acquired Mycology Tags. They look so cozily at home with her charming collection, and I couldn't be more delighted to learn of the destination of these little creations!
More About: Note , Nice
Nothing But Pictures
2008-02-20 07:13:00
"In my world, the books would be nothing but pictures." Alice in WonderlandA most appropriate present for my dear friend Alice. An enchantingly serene and simple little piece, drawn to mimic an old black and white illustration from the classic storybook. Only its color hints at the imaginative fairytale that is Alice in Wonderland. Attired for adventure from her signature bright blue frock to the coral pink piping along her petite pinafore. Snapshots from the project: {1} Sketching {2} The completed ink drawing {3} Adding color with acrylics {4} The finished piece within creamy matting {5} The completed present, finished and framed - I do think she'll love it!
More About: Pictures
Dear Valentines,
2008-02-14 06:40:00
Wishing you all a simply lovely day! Don't forget to check your inbox if you've signed up for Natural Historie Correspondence by the 13th at midnight (EST).
More About: Valentines
Secret Valentines
2008-02-12 08:03:00
See those mysteriously entrancing little hearts floating upwards? They're tiny sneak previews of the virtual postcard that's coming your way this fourteenth of February. (If you're on the Natural Historie Correspondence list that is!) I had a lovely time designing what will be one of the first little goodies I get to send out to all of you! It features among fonts and flourishes, a snapshot I took while rummaging through my collection of Victorian paper cutouts and ephemera. It's the quintessential Valentine, Natural Historie style. If you're not on the list just yet, not to worry. Be sure to click the button below to sign up by the fourteenth.
More About: Secret , Valentines
Valen{tiny} Garland
2008-02-02 05:16:00
Perfectly pink and fetchingly festive this garland of miniature paper hearts is just in time for St. Valentine's Day. Swag a strand across a door frame or over a window for a look that is demure and charming.{You will need}paper scraps*scissorscoordinating threadsewing needle *we used assorted scrap booking papers, in varied textures & prints in shades of pink, violet, gold & red; heavier papers work best {Step 1}Fold a 1-2" square paper scrap in half with right sides together.{Step 2}Along the fold, cut a half-heart shape as shown in the diagram.{Step 3}You should now have a symmetrical heart shaped cut out. {Step 4}Repeat steps 1-3 with different types of papers - try an array of colors, textures, and prints. The number of hearts you will need will vary based on the size of your hearts and the desired length of your garland. Our hearts ranged from 3/4" to 1"and approximately 14 hearts were required for each foot of garland.{Step 5}With a threaded needle begi...
More About: Tiny , Garland
Just Up the Path
2008-01-29 09:21:00
Remember these? I've finally developed my mushroom drawings into a new collection of paper goodies, pairing them with light blue accents and polka dot motifs. In honor of a friend's birthday I assembled this little sampler packet of tags, stickers and labels and I am pleased to announce that some of its contents have inspired me to create a similar collection for Natural Historie. Be on the look out for these brand new additions to the paperie - they'll be making their debut in the very near future.
More About: Path
A Winner
2008-01-27 09:22:00
At last, the anticipated conclusion of the first ever contest at A Field Journal. Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter - your comments were lovely and so much appreciated. All sixty two entries were printed, cut, folded, and placed in a roomy blue box (after rapidly outgrowing a small bowl). Congratulations to the very lucky winner drawn at random... Mary Hanks! Enjoy your new earrings from Natural Historie. As for the future, I can hardly wait to host another contest -this one was such fun! So stay tuned, you may have a chance to be a lucky winner yet.
More About: Winner
Winter Garden
2008-01-21 03:26:00
Beneath bell jars and glass roofed conservatories lies a winter garden, its specimens snugly nestled within white ceramic vases, mossy terracotta pots and old apothecary jars – the splendor of springtime cultivated indoors. A traipse through a January garden in full bloom need not require more than crossing your threshold. Meander through the snapshots above: {1} A store bought bouquet of tulips before the windowpane - my favorite flower, exceptionally warm and beautiful in pink and orange {2} A potted amaryllis in a wintry white, finally in full bloom on the kitchen sill {3} A lone narcissus sprouting in the garden foretells of spring. {4} Rather modest rosebuds reside in an antique decanter atop a volume of rainy day reading. At right: {5} My humble emulation of nature’s beauty – a sketchbook drawing in colored pencil.
More About: Garden , Winter
Post Script
2008-01-20 01:16:00
Find something pretty in your inbox! Every few months I’ll be sending a little surprise to everyone on my mailing list – it might be a seasonal greeting (like a sweet little valentine), a special announcement or perhaps an exclusive discount. To become a part of the Natural Historie Correspondence email list just click the logo, and send the email that appears. Then be on the look out for the occasional splendid little design in your virtual mailbox.P.S. Images used in this post are original snapshots of my postcard collection, and the "mail" themed inspiration board I created. For more snapshots visit me here.
More About: Post , Script
Deerly Sweet {Part Two}
2008-01-07 20:12:00
Did you miss {Part One}?And here it is, the sweet scene I imagined, delicately rendered in ink and watercolor. A dear little doe amidst a pastel picnic demurely sips from a polka dotted teacup, all the while unbeknownst of the twittering bluebirds overhead. “Happy Birthday Deerest!” they proclaim. Springtime fast approaches with pastels, petite fours, fawns and flowers, so treat a dear one to this lovely forest fete. I’m so pleased to introduce the first ever birthday notecard from Natural Historie.
More About: Sweet
Deerly Sweet {Part One}
2008-01-04 21:11:00
It was during the incessant drone of an twelve thirty lecture that I found myself engaging in that age old classroom pastime. Between the “good afternoon, class” and the “next time we shall discuss,” a nonchalant little margin doodle evolved into a page of ideas. Here are the beginnings of a fanciful design I’ve been working on for the first ever birthday notecard from Natural Historie. Ever since jotting down this rough sketch I’ve been dying to create some developed ink and watercolor drawings. Take a peek at these snippets and notes from the process; there are even a few of the finished elements dashed about it (strawberries and such)! Next time I’ll share the finished scene with you – I hope you’ll think it as lovely as I do!
More About: Sweet , Part
A Contest
2008-01-01 23:36:00
{Contest Rules and How to Enter}In celebration of the new year, I am holding the first ever giveaway contest at A Field Journal. Simply leave a comment at the bottom of this post to enter to win the boxed pair of Natural Historie earrings pictured above. In your comment, please include a method by which to contact you if you are the winner. Contest is open to continental US residents only. Contest begins January 1, 2008 and ends January 25, 2008. At this time I will place each contestant’s name on a slip of paper and draw a random winner. Happy New Year! {About the Prize}Queen Anne's Lace Earrings There they are, growing wayward along the woodland path, perfect reconciliations of humility and elegance. Stop and gather a few wildflowers – after all, you’ll look positively regal adorned in these. Earrings are made with nickel-free ear hooks, metal findings, lightweight metal “doily” and glass beads. They measure approximately 3 inches from arch of ear hook to bottom ...
Merry and Bright
2007-12-26 21:52:00
Hoping your holiday was merry and bright. Here are some scenes from our Christmas Day - presents and place settings in greens and gold.
More About: Bright , Merry
Smart Cookies
2007-12-22 21:43:00
Year after year the week before Christmas brings a seemingly endless day of cookie baking. In years past more ambitious pursuits have yielded stacks of iced sugar cookies, a mountain of floury cookie cutters, a disastrously messy kitchen and two very tired girls. This year we attempted to avoid the inevitable oath of “I wish to never again see or eat another cookie.” Opting for the simpler method of using this vintage cookie press that has been in the kitchen drawer since I can remember, we made two batches in chocolate and vanilla. Small accents in simple white icing make these cookies complete.Here is the timeworn recipe from the cookie press box – we used it to make the white dough. BASIC RECIPE FOR COOKIES1 cup butter or margarine1 cup sugar1 ½ teaspoons vanilla2 eggs, unbeaten3 cups sifted flour¼ teaspoon saltCream together the butter sugar and vanilla. Add eggs and beat well. Then add flour and salt and mix until blended. Press through Cookie Maker onto...
More About: Smart , Cookies
Visions of Sugar Plums
2007-12-22 10:07:00
Simple handmade boxes filled with sweets make delightfully succinct little presents or party favors. These were created using Blueprint magazine’s printable wrapping paper on white cardstock, a gift box pattern and crimson satin ribbon. To pull together the smart black and white patterns and rich red I created a matching label featuring my familiar black ink drawing and tiny accents in red. These little packages would be equally lovely at a New Year’s affair with champagne colored ribbon and a themed label.
More About: Sugar , Visions
Winter Green
2007-12-20 09:01:00
“But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be On your own front door.” So the seasonal carol says. These wreaths (they are a matching pair, though only one is pictured), are spruced up with an abundance of backyard boughs and accented with golden ribbon, leafy garland and faux burgundy berries. Though these wreaths will hang from the front porch's twin columns, there is nothing like bringing “the holly and the ivy” indoors. It's so fresh yet old fashioned. For more inspiration, read about Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg with its candles, garlands and decorations handmade from natural greenery.
More About: Winter , Green
Where the Treetops Glisten
2007-12-16 05:13:00
A girlish variation on typical red and green, this little assortment of bows and baubles is the perfect adornment for a miniature evergreen. I look forward to unwrapping these each year and trimming a petite tree entirely in the frills and sparkle of sage and rose.{1} A radiant tree topper – actually an over-sized ornament just perfect for this use {2} A tiny looking glass, bedecked with jewels and sparkle {3} Trays of treats {4} Glittered snowflake in a glistening opaque white {5} Another variation – traditional glass spheres remade, rosy, golden and glittering {6} My own handiwork, custom made from my assortment of old glass beads in yellow green and mauve {7} Snowflake ornament frosted with iridescent glitter {8} A miniature sconce ornament added to the collection a few years ago {9} Ribbon and garlands in green, gold and white
Politics, Parties and Paris
2007-12-13 06:56:00
Cinema is so often spurned on the grounds of poor plot or performance, but I’d contentedly endure any of these deficiencies if only to gaze upon a recreated history with all of its millinery, frills and idealistic embellishment. Jefferson in Paris is a delightful display of 18th century French fashion, architecture and interiors, and despite its unpromising reviews I found it to be entertaining and visually elegant. Interspersed throughout the film are candid narrations on the developing Revolution, among them a montage of the French court frivolities of Marie Antoinette. The primary focus however, is on Jefferson – his role as an American diplomat and Southern gentleman, his trials and tribulations as a father and widower, and his romantic involvement with the Anglo-Italian Mrs. Cosway and his Virginian slave Ms. Sally Hemmings.Images are film stills excerpted from Jefferson in Paris.
More About: Politics , Parties
Flights of Fancy
2007-12-02 00:05:00
A charming little assortment of butterflies is flightily flocking to the Natural Historie Paperie. In celebration of their arrival, I’ve a surprise just for you, dear reader. Decorate your desktop with the easily downloadable wallpaper shown below, available in three sizes. It features Fancy Flights Tags amidst sketches, flourishes and fonts, sure to make your workspace bright and cheery. How to wallpaper your desktop:1. Determine your screen’s resolution (its dimensions).2. Click on the link that corresponds to your screen size.{1024 by 768} {1280 by 1024} {1280 by 800}3. Right click on the image and select “Set as Desktop Background” The daintiest of wings adorn the prettiest of things. Momentarily captured these be-winged beauties perch flightily within golden yellow frames. Perfect specimens of nature’s simple elegance, they’ll glide gracefully onto album pages, parcels and presents. For more on my line of tags at Natural Historie, read some notes from the studi...
|Muse|um: Sketching in the West Pavilion
2007-11-30 10:27:00
On a bleak January evening, nearly one year past, a modern art survey course brought me to the 19th century gallery of the Getty’s West Pavilion for the very first time. Strolling the parquet floors I made my selection from the works that punctuated the formal walls of forest green. Here are sketches made on that occasion (alongside the originals), as well as an excerpt from the final paper they accompanied.“It is from contrasts that Degas draws an art, translating the society of the late nineteenth century onto paper and canvas. His eye discerns the falsity and irony behind the delicate splendor of Parisian life, with its glittering opera halls, flurried movement, and colorful ballets. His pieces juxtapose ephemeral beauty and grotesque reality; beside the grandeur of flickering stage light and dancers on point are shadowy faces and strained expressions. Degas’ ability to capture these subtleties transcends medium as demonstrated by the sweeping strokes of chalk pastel in Wai...
More About: Muse , Sketching
Woodland Wanderings
2007-11-20 03:15:00
This ink and acrylic series of sketchbook specimens is inspired by a 19th century botany illustration I saw under glass at a library exhibit. A predominantly natural palette intermixed with vibrant blues and reds, make these little mushrooms unexpected beauties. They are surely destined for something special at Natural Historie, I simply cannot wait to get them properly scanned and incorporated into fresh new designs for the shop.
More About: Erin
Pages from the Past
2007-11-14 23:30:00
Of late I’ve been haunting a deserted corner on the fourth floor of the research library, pouring over the dilapidated bindings of the yearbook archives. Though on assignment for the student media’s marketing department, I simply had to take a few snapshots to savor the hours spent pouring over the pages of Southern Campus 1932. These young collegians emanate such a nonchalant elegance, as they candidly pose in front of the buildings I still walk by on my morning route. The book’s creamy textured inserts are so richly designed with strikingly modern color illustrations printed in bold and metallic inks. And populating a quite historic spread, I found snapshots of Royce Hall, picturesquely dusted with the infamous snow of January 1932.
More About: Past , Pages , Ages
Gone Away is the Bluebird
2007-11-10 09:28:00
Here to stay is a new bird. At least for the holiday season, at Natural Historie. "A right merry little fellow, larking amidst the foxgloves and holly boughs, he’ll bring such cheery tidings to loved ones near and far." A punch of deep red and a sprinkle of iridescent glitter graces these notecards, the first in what I hope will be a continued festive line. {A Natural Historie Holiday} It is wondrous winter woodlands and the sparkle of white. The stark contours of barren branches and the vivid crimson of holly berries. The flurry of wildlife and the peace of snowy landscapes. The Natural Historie companion blog.
More About: Bluebird
A Cover Story
2007-11-05 08:11:00
When I first set brush to canvas, it was a late autumn evening, barely warm enough to leave one window slightly ajar and let the far off strains of the high school’s marching band waft in on the cool night breeze. Under the warmth of the desk lamp, two half-empty tubes of black and white acrylic paint lay next to the splattered palette Ms. Marks had issued the first day of school. A few weeks later, while shirking my art history studies, paintbrush shamelessly in hand, I finished it.On a late October afternoon, not but two years latter, I found myself flitting down the steps of Dodd Hall, thankfully liberated from the philosophy professor’s drone, and skittishly headed toward the bottom floor of the administrative building. Several corridors and stair flights latter I reached the tiny office where they sat in stacks.Waiting, featured on the cover of the 2007 volume of the UCLA Literary Journal, Westwind.Ever so excitedly, I picked up a copy. There they were, the brushstrokes of ...
More About: Story , Cover , Cover story
A Pincushion Post
2007-11-03 01:39:00
So wonderfully unique and undeniably charming, these little Etsy finds are no ordinary pincushions. They are quite beguiling little additions to the sewing room and all so enchantingly disguised as some of life’s loveliest simple pleasures. {1} Cupcake pincushions abound at Crazy Cakes, so decadent and cozy ,with their silky floral adornments and inviting chenille textures. {2} Regarding this vintage chair pincushion from Rabbit’s Moon, a more perfect synthesis of old-fashioned elegance and modern simplicity could not be desired. {3} As it goes, things seem to reach their paramount cuteness when they are both lovely and tiny – a principle so evident in this flower basket pincushion available at Schmaltzy Craftsy.{4} So soft in tone and texture, this felted rose from Morning Glory Workshop is gracefully refined. The perfect present from the prim and ladylike miss. {5} An ingeniously bundled set of six succulent berries awaits you at a. bel studio. These Countr...
More About: Post , Cushion
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