of shadows and moonlight

In the darkness, gently swaying back and forth I hum a melody at almost a whisper. So familiar now, it feels like an extension of me; the sounds exit my body without effort.

Light flickers into the room from cracks between the closed blinds. I feel a tiny hand reach to grab mine, a head rested peacefully on my shoulder; a busy day is coming to it’s sleepy end.

All is still, all is well; we haven’t a care in the world.

I never tired of these sweet moments. I smile. In the shadows of moonlight.

you are unlimited.

…that is what my yogi tea tag said to me. I like it. It’s a positive phrase that can mean so many  things to different people; and for me, it’s filled with hope. Or maybe it is just the ringing in of a New Year that always brings sentimentalality…

The sidewalks are quiet, the leaves still rustle about and squirrels hop from tree to tree in search of the ever-elusive nut.  There is no snow in sight. It’s winter here in North Carolina, my new home.

Leaving Brooklyn wasn’t easy. I played things out in my head for weeks and months and doubted the decision to move too many times to count. NYC is a place that can be so easily loved and hated simultaneously. But once we were gone, after all the boxes were unpacked and sorted and when Brooklyn seemed far, far away, I felt a sense of space and calm that I haven’t felt in a long time. The daily demands of a job in Manhattan, the commute, the long hours and fierce competition had been dragging and picking away at me for years; my heart was never in it…My studio space had been long gone for months, my supplies boxed up in storage and rent was getting steeper by what felt like the minute. In all certainty, something had to give…

In my lifetime, I’ve called nine different cities home, spanning across 2 continents, 4 countries, 4 states and 30+ years. Brooklyn was different though, and you become a believer. I always thought we would stay, I did. At some point though, we lost sense of what it was all for and perhaps a tiny peice of my subconscious self always knew the truth anyway.

So our wallets lighter and our senses confused we’re gone from a place we loved, but knew could never last, and it was for all the right reasons. Our feet landed firmly on this southern soil, we’re excited and oh so happy to be here…what will happen next?

If you are still here with us, thank you for believing in us. We believe in you.

xo

walking on cloud nine

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I’ve been really terrible at keeping up with my blog. I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve taken with the intention of posting…I have literally hundreds. It’s just unfortunate that I never can seem to put aside the time to share them all. Hey, we can’t do it all, all the time, right?

This year of the dragon has had quite a whirlwind start in our neck of the woods. I can hardly believe it’s almost the middle of April…time sure does fly!

We are super excited to be expecting our very first bundle of joy this September and we just found out yesterday we’ll be welcoming a little boy to our family! We’re walking on cloud nine…

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Today is a day that from a religious standpoint; I don’t give too much attention to, but wish I could be spending it with my family. So in place of family time, my husband and I made an awesome brunch and took a lovely stroll through Prospect Park. The weather was amazing and I had lots of time to play with my new camera.

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Embarking on a new journey is a tremendously exciting thing, it evokes many emotions and new changes and we’re super excited for what’s to come…

you’ll find us walking on cloud nine…

Sans Map studio revealed !!

A rather uncharacteristic and hasty decision that I made a month ago put keys in my hands to a new studio space. No longer confined to working out of my apartment with distractions-a-plenty, I now have a space I can call my own.

…i think i’ll change that ol’ saying to “haste makes waste-not-always”. it was the dreamer in me giving my calculated and mostly-careful self a big kick in the ass. (and it worked!)

The building:

My studio space is nestled on the 3rd floor of an industrial building in Crown Heights (which is the neighborhood just next to me, literally 4 blocks away) in Brooklyn, built in the 1880’s – formerly occupied by Budweiser Brewery, later home to many businesses including Heinz (57 varieties) and a locker metalwork manufacturer, it was most recently Monti Storage and Moving. Remnants of the days gone by are still visible on the front of the building (that, and a healthy dose of graffiti).

It was bought by a local company in 2007 and renovated to be a completely ‘Green’ building. The roof is fitted entirely with solar panels and 4,000 sq feet of green roofing landscape (native plants, grasses, etc.) – the solar energy powers the entire building electricity – and from what I understand, then some. The heating is low temperature radiant floor heating using energy efficient condensing gas boilers. Eco-friendly and salvaged materials and low VOC paints were used in construction of the building. And get this – rainwater flushes our toilets!

I found a really interesting article that says this building was (and probably still is) a leader in commercial solar panel roofing with a net-metered system – which actually generates electricity for our building and puts some back into the grid. In 2008, it was the largest commercial solar panel of it’s kind. Pretty cool, huh?

Check out the article: http://gogreenstaygreen.com/news/new-york-city-first-net-metered-commercial-solar-array-americas-biggest/

The studio:

I have my own space within a huge studio that I share with several other creative-types ranging from painters, graphic designers to writers and video game creators. It’s a very calm space with super high ceilings, two large windows along the back wall which is all exposed brick. I spend evenings and weekends at the studio and as of late have had the place to myself. Normally only one or two other people are there at the same time as me which is totally fine either way because everyone is extremely friendly.

Here are a few photos:

(psssst – did you notice something else that is different? how about that handsome juki industrial walking foot sewing machine you see!? i’ve only had it a couple weeks, but i think i’m in love. it’s a.maze.ing.)

Until next time my lovelies!!

xo c

Urban Composting

This was originally posted on May 19th on www.thenewnew.blogspot.com where I am a contributing writer……

The rain showers here in NYC haven’t let up in what seems weeks. If you are anything like me, your overall summertime morale hasn’t benefited from all this precipitation, but the flowers, gardens and lawns sure have. My own urban garden is growing so fast, lush and green it’s amazing!
 
Gardening is one of my favorite DIY hobbies. Such satisfaction from planting tiny little seeds, taking care of them, feeding the soil and watching everything grow! I used to think I didn’t have much of a green thumb, but those days are a changin’ my friends. Like anything else, the more you work at it the more you learn over time.
 
 
After covering the basics, the next logical step in my gardening journey is composting. For some reason composting had always intimidated me, I have always felt that you have to really ‘know what you are doing’ to get results….I sort of chuckle thinking about that now, because it’s actually pretty easy. You throw stuff in a bin, mix it up once in a while and you get beautiful lush fertilizer. It just takes a little elbow grease and patience (and of course knowing your ‘greens’ and your ‘browns’)! Not only is it organic, it reduces your garbage output and it’s totally free.
 
Urban composting can be done indoors or outdoors in various different ways, in small spaces and large. You can make it work for you, your lifestyle and your space. To fend off my composting fears (like how do I prevent a stinky bin, what about rats and flies and stuff…?) I attended a composting workshop held by the Lower East Side Ecology Center (through the NYC Compost Project). It gave me the confidence to go for it on my own and have been working mine for just over a month now!

My metal compost bin + what I added today (before it got a good stir!)

 
Don’t have enough space, time or resources to compost yourself – but want to put your organic waste to good use?
 
Several of the city’s Greenmarkets are running a pilot composting collection program. You can save your compost materials (like your veggie scraps, coffee grinds or eggshells) and bring them to the collection site. Did you know that over the past nine weekends they have collected almost 50,000 pounds of food scraps in Brooklyn and Manhattan? That is a ton of waste being kept out of New York City’s garbage turned into useful nutrients.

Even if your urban garden is your windowsill or your fire escape it’s enough space to have a DIY garden all your own. Carve out a little piece of green :)

Happy gardening!

Useful composting resources + links for NYC residents:

Now go out there and get your hands dirty!!

Until next time…..

daydreaming….

 

…you know that saying ‘your eyes are bigger than your stomach’? …take that same phrase and apply it to the context of tasks.

to be specific, tasks that i’ve taken on recently. i guess you could say at some point i committed myself to too much.  simultaneously, my mostly-busy-but-not-crazy-job has spiraled into a frenzy of frantic work and is now slightly-out-of-control-organized-chaos. but that too will pass…my subconscious is telling me to count to 10 and take deep breaths.

doesn’t this seem to always happen at once? when it rains, it pours. it happens to the best of us…

the first thing i did today when i got home was grab the dog and i immediately headed out for a soul-reviving run. i love that running is such a good outlet for stress…calms the nerves, loosens up the brain and not to mention my dog is now soundly snoozing…

after a decidedly crap day at work today, i realized (and have been recently recognizing) that i need to say ‘no’ more often.

‘no’ mr-coworker-who-can’t-add-columns-in-excel-and-wants-me-to-do-it-for-him….i will not re-do all the formulas in your spreadsheet and add columns and re-save and send to the other mrs. coworker because you are on your blackberry and can’t open the file. i’m not your personal assistant. i know i have done it for you before, and that i have mad excel skills, but no.

do it yourself. it’s easy.

it’s tricky though, right? there is a delicate balance. in some way, shape or form – sometimes saying yes will help me further down the line. but tipping the scales to doing too much for others and not enough for me is counter-productive in the now. today. as we speak.

so if i politely tell you ‘no, i’m really very sorry, i cannot do that for you/with you/in place of you’, i’m counting on you to understand. i’m turning over a new leaf and drawing my line.

…and maybe it’ll give me some time back and i can daydream of the ocean…if even just for a minute :)