Category Archives: all things beautiful

Urban Composting

This was originally posted on May 19th on 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…..



…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 :)

save the date ~ handmade holiday market!!


Come and celebrate a winter shopping wonderland with more than 50 of the area’s amazing artists, designers, and crafters. This year’s Holiday Cavalcade will be filled with handmade clothing, home decor, jewelry, accessories, paper goods, toys and bath & body products, all designed and produced locally.

So mark your calendars now for December 5, 2010 from 11am-8pm. This year’s Holiday Handmade Cavalcade will take place at OpenHOUSE Gallery in Nolita, New York.


Photo from last year’s ~ 2009 Second Annual Holiday Cavalcade


photo courtesy of The {NewNew}

This third annual holiday market ‘The Handmade Holiday Cavalcade” will be a spectacular offering of the best handmade goods around! Stay tuned for my sneak preview of some new Sans Map designs. I’ll have all new colors and special holiday accessories – – the best for gift giving (and, go on – for yourself!)…..more to come!!

check out The {NewNew} blog, updated daily!!

The Holiday Handmade Cavalcade is an event sponsored by The {NewNew} – an eclectic group of etsy sellers in the New York metro area. We are solely vendor run and this will be our third consecutive year bringing you this amazing celebration of handmade talent designed and produced locally!

inspirational piles….

see! i told you i would post more often….so far, so good, eh? :-)

on the weekends especially, i have these extended periods of inspiration where i’ll end up with tons of ideas and subsequently work so quickly jumping from project to project that i end up with piles and piles of fabric, leather, zippers and more.  surprisingly still organized, in a ‘corey’ sort of way….it’s amazing…but it’s when i’m the most productive and it’s a system i’ve come to realize just works. so i thought today would be a good day to share with you a couple of quick peeks into my workspace, while i’m actually working…..

one of my many piles of fabric today is filled with soft mustards, blue and brown plaid, grey and teal….totally autumn colors, totally sans map. don’t you think that this is one of the best times of year for finding inspiration from nature?

today ella and i went for a fantastic run in prospect park – – she even got to romp around like crazy with a group of  off-leash dogs (shhh, it was outside off-leash hours…i won’t tell if you don’t). since it gets so dark so early now, when i run with ella during the week it’s always at night and the sun has already set – not merely as beautiful and relaxing as during the day when the leaves and lakes are shining their beauty!!


a work in progress:

instead of piles of zippers, i have rows of zippers!….i keep a tiny photo of emma when we first brought her home on one of my corkboards…i must have been only 15 years old….she was probably just a couple of months old and so tiny! always makes me smile…


the holiday season is upon us and i’ve much work to do….! i hope to share more of my work and process in the coming weeks…i always love seeing how my favorite artists and designers work in their studios, and i hope you do too!

….happy daylight savings (we get an extra hour of sleep :-)  yay!


did you miss me?

it’s been forever since i have last posted an entry. close to three months!  i hope you are still out there, perhaps only hanging on by a thread, a small glimmer of hope, waiting patiently for me to come back…..i know my content is lacking. this my friends, i am painfully aware of.

i have somehow managed to reminded myself each and every day that i need to write a post and then never do.  it’s not by accident. it’s conscious procrastination founded on my lack of motivation. and it’s not because i don’t want to write, or because i don’t have anything to say. in fact, it’s just the opposite. i have an almost overwhelming amount of things going on right now, thoughts, ideas and so much rushing around my head like crazy – – but when i get ready to share, i end up recoiling. i get scared. do i want to tell so much, expose my innermost feelings – my hopes and fears – – and yikes! could i possibly take the criticism or judgement?

i’ve hit a patch of time and space of uncertainty where i have this inexplicable self-doubt. i am taking risks, pushing myself and venturing into the new, and it’s not easy.  most people just don’t, or won’t, admit that.  the people who act like soldiers with big tall walls built up around them like a fortress of emotional security – no one gets in…and nothing gets out. i really think they’ve got it all wrong.

so here i am now – sharing, with you – my friends (and kind lurkers)…..i’m nothing short of super crazy excited to be on the path i’m running down right now. i’m focused, i’m energetic, i’m thinking positive thoughts….but that nagging devil’s advocate we call fear silently tugs at me. i’ll shake it off, let it roll off my back and focus on all the good stuff, the positivity i can, thankfully, always manage to scrounge up from somewhere.

so now just promise me one thing – promise me that you won’t judge.  i’ve given you the dish on why i purposefully (but temporarily) abandoned my blog. will you come back, and stay….?

let’s call it a truce…i think now we’re even :-)

(plus…now that i’m back, i have tons of stuff to tell you!!) :-)

taking my own advice…

i began writing this blog when i moved to the south of france a year and a half ago, as a way to keep my friends and family at home in the loop, to share photos and to tell stories. it turned out that i really enjoyed writing, one or two people actually read my blog from time to time – and it became a way for me to get my thoughts off my chest….talk things through, so to speak. i guess now it’s growing along with me….

i am most inspired to write from the heart about my true self – what i’m thinking about, what i’m working towards at the moment share a bit about who i am. down to earth and genuine.

have i been avoiding this in my writing lately?
putting things on paper, writing something in ink means confronting those innermost fears and worries.

sometimes we need to go at our own pace – even if it’s a pace unlike those around us. swim against the current, divert.
so instead of talking things through – out loud, i’m taking some time to look inward, re-group, re-center, find calm, find solace. to disconnect, unplug, log off – step back a few paces.

i wanted to share with you a post i wrote over a year ago in france – this is one of my favorite places on earth, cap d’antibes. so beautiful a place, i often go there again in my dreams. hindsight is always 20/20 but many times we can really take our own advice. i just need to take a deep breath, relax…..

(originally written and posted on march 23rd, 2009. all photos were taken by me.)

take a deep breath, relax…..

in a world of uncertainty, constant change and self-discovery where the road can be long and winding…..we may sometimes feel lost, many times worried or unsure what the future may bring us. if you are like me, and find the search exciting and very much worth the effort, you may also feel the pressure (even if only our own on ourselves) weighing in heavily.

we all need to take a break, take some deep breaths and realize that everything works out in ways sometimes we don’t, or can’t, understand. the outcome may not even matter – – we are not reader’s of the future, of our own or others. happiness is not fleeting….it sticks around, if you let it.

in those times of self-doubt, which i know everyone has, albeit probably more often than we like…..a break, an escape, a parting with life’s bothers is greatly needed.

let me take you to a place that can make those worries a faint whisper, a long parted trouble and taken away in the wind. a place that has the ability to pull out of you those nagging troubles, no matter what they may be – – however insignificant or faint…..

beauty has that effect on me, at least. i arrive with more than what i leave with. the hands in the wind grab at what nags at me at takes it away, lifts it off my shoulders. launches it into the horizon, far, far away…..

i can only be eternally thankful for what i have been lucky enough to experience in my life. the sights, the sounds, the people. and these i will hold dear and never let go……

for they provide me with solace, escape and utter happiness. they have given me insight into myself and they are part of the pieces of me. what makes me who i am.

so let me take you to a place that can make those worries a faint whisper…

take a deep breath, relax…

inhale the beauty and let your worries drift far, far away into the wind….and beyond.

it works for me……and that is why i love cap d’antibes. this one gets tucked away for safe-keeping. i know i’ll need to look on it again, when i just need to relax.

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