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water's edge

Water's Edge painting by Phoebe Stout for Untold Imprint
Water's Edge Organic cotton tee by Untold Imprint
Water's Edge tank dress by Untold Imprint

My spirit found home among great trees, at a water's edge.

I was looking for a quote about nature to accompany my new print and then it struck me – why not write what I feel about nature? So I did. My spirit truly did come to life when I left the city and rediscovered how much I love nature. The feelings that nature evokes led me to start my altar collection back in 2016, it led me to adopt Alice, and it has given me a deep sense of connection to the world, both near and far.

Squam Art Fair will be my first market of the Fall season and I'll have tees & towels with this new print to celebrate the magic of Squam. 

Until then, enjoy these last weeks of summer and all that nature inspires.

letting go

Six weeks ago I finally got to see the inside of a cottage that I’ve been in love with for what seems like forever. It’s down the road from my family’s home and in the 17 years that we’ve been here, no one has ever seen anyone come or go from this tiny place. I’ve imagined what the inside looked like and what I could do if I ever got my hands on it. My vision was of squirrels and birds making their home inside (not far-fetched as I’ve learned) and me gladly covered in plaster and working my fingers to the bone trying to restore it. So, in August when I got a call from a friend on the lake saying, “your little cottage with the moss roof is for sale!”, I called the realtor immediately. 

Let me warn you now that this tale doesn’t have a fairytale ending but I wanted to share because I don't want this cottage to fade away without people knowing it.  An old house has a spirit and this one has a really wonderful spirit. Stepping through the front door was like stepping back in time. There are linens hanging on the drying rack in the bathroom, newspapers piled on the coffee table, a stack of old board games on a cot waiting to be played again, there's even a party line phone number hanging on the kitchen wall next to the rotary phone. Nothing has been touched in decades, as if the people who lived there vanished one day. As the story goes, it was a summer cottage and the couple who owned it, passed away long ago. Their daughters never returned and let it sit uninhabited all these years, until there were holes in the roof and flowers growing out of the rain gutters. I felt like I had been there before, you know that feeling you get when you have a connection with a person or place. I could see myself living there, gardening and washing dishes and being happy. And now this is where things take a turn. I was convinced, not without a fight, by the many contractors and masons who came to the cottage over the past month and a half, that every wall, floorboard, piece of framing, and stitch of furniture would need to be removed because of the extensive mold and the crumbling ash foundation. Unwilling to accept defeat, I then seriously considered the idea of having the house demolished and rebuilt exactly as it was, board for board. Tried to convince myself that this would be a good trade-off but I knew in my heart that it would never fill the space left. I really don’t want a likeness of the house I fell in love with, the walls wouldn’t have memories and my hands wouldn’t get dirty enough for my taste. 

The first time I visited the cottage, I immediately felt the family that spent their summers there. You couldn't help but feel their presence, surviving in all the objects that they lived with. I’m heartbroken to walk away from it but even more so knowing that someone will buy it and tear it down and that feeling that took a lifetime to bring into being will be gone forever. I had a long and sleepless night last night knowing that I would make the last call to the realtor today. I’m finding gratitude in the glimpse I had of this sweet house and comfort that no stone was left unturned in the hope of salvaging it. I guess the lesson here is in letting go…not entirely though, I am asking if I could buy the front door. Something from this little cottage is coming with me!

i ♥ ny

On Wednesday, I leave New York City, my home of almost seventeen years. It's still difficult to believe, even a day away. When I moved here for school in 1995, I swore I would never live anywhere else. As amazing as New York is, and is it ever amazing, it can take its toll. Over the past few years I've found myself yearning for a quieter and simpler life. The craziest part of this scenario is not my move, it’s that I don’t yet know where I’m moving to. I’ll be staying with family and friends while I search for a new place to call home.

This week as I marked my last visit to the market, and my last walk through Central Park (to leave my apple), I shed quite a few tears as I thought about what I’ll miss most. Here are a few big ones...

* The subway & subway musicians – most especially guitarist Desmond Ivey who plays Columbus Circle Uptown 1 platform quite a bit. He makes me cry every time I hear him.

* Salaam Café on 13th Street (my home street for six years). Coziest and most welcoming little tucked away place with my favorite dolmades & vegetable ouzi.

* Walking through Washington Square Park in the evening - especially in the rain or snow.

* Friday meditation with Raven.

* Metropolitan Opera House – regardless of whether I’m inside or outside.

* The endless and inspiring energy.

* Knowing that whenever my heart desires, I can hop on the train or walk across town and be standing in front of some of the greatest works of art in the world.

* Sunday Greenflea at 77th & Columbus. Vintage city treasures and the best pickles and jalapeno stuffed olives.

* Lastly and mostly, I’ll miss the people. Friends - new and old, teachers, acquaintances, fellow yogis, the receptionists at my gym, fruit sellers on my corner… I could write this list forever. Despite our reputation, New Yorkers are pretty awesome. My sister and niece top that list and leaving them will be the hardest of all.

Every once in a while I have a flash of panic and think that I’m making a terrible mistake and then my intuition seeps in, I see the life I want ahead of me, and that life is somewhere else. So, I’m following my intuition and trusting in myself. On to the next chapter. Thank you so much, New York! I really do love you.

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