Snapshots

Untitled
These are a few little disposable camera snaps from our inaugural Elmwood trip last weekend. We got home 6 days ago and I'm still floating. When Francesca (who had spent the bulk of our in-person time at Elmwood and the rest over long distance emailing) moved to the city last summer, she remarked on the significant personality change between elmwood amy and new york amy. I'm trying to keep elmwood amy alive for as long as possible and I can feel that this week it worked. 

It also doesn't hurt that there are now 11 varieties of peonies in my studio.
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
My sister Micha is moving to sunny Florida for the next 6 months and I really can't imagine how I lived in New York for 10 years without her. I am so proud of the beautiful things she's made here and her help with my business has really changed everything. Her gentleness, imagination and ingenuity are unmatched, and I'm excited to see her use them in new ways while she is gone. Come back soon, big sis.

An Elmwood sister weekend

Untitled
We spent our first afternoon making the rounds at our favorite junky antique stores and I loaded the car with vases, old brass curtain rods, a general store paper roll, massive used flower books and two special little silk vintage things. This 1920s Erté-esque dress was hanging off the side of a cabinet covered by an unfortunate 50s prom dress and cost less than the price of a dozen doughnuts. The flowers were leftovers from a photoshoot earlier in the week that I brought up with us.
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
It wasn't until I got home that I realized my two favorite finds matched my two favorite arrangements. The little wrinkly peach silk blouse is of indeterminate vintage, but quite old and was found stuffed unceremoniously into a ziplock bag on a folding table at a multi-dealer mall. It needs a solid soaking but the metal-backed, faceted glass buttons alone could confirm a belief in god.

I clipped the columbine from along the stone wall where the foundation of Elmwood's barn once stood and the mauve lady slipper tucked in the center grows wild on the path through the woods. My dad wouldn't condone its cutting, some flowers are too special for mere mortals to possess. But I'm hopelessly mortal and can't stop myself biting that fruit every time. 

Talk it out

11410013
If I was good at this whole thing we would probably be talking about the flower story I have in Brides this month. (And how I totaled my car on the way to the shoot.) Or the classes I'm planning to teach in my new space. (And how I didn't return a single work email for 6 days straight last week.) Or the bouquet I made on set yesterday for a magazine cover. (And how I was forced to wash my hair with cat shampoo that morning because I forgot to go to Rite Aid the night before.)

11410008 11410023 11410002 11410001
We could also talk about my visit to Portland a few weeks back. (And the hike that made me question my life's location.) Or maybe my mom, since it was mother's day? (In the meantime, go here and marvel all over again.) Or I could use copious exclamation points telling you that tomorrow I'm headed to Elmwood for the first time this year. (I need to rent a car.)  ( ! )

But right now, let's practice non-verbal communication. Look into my eyes and all of that, because I don't have much else to say.

The Mill

Untitled
Some people have a sensitivity to houses. A predisposition to appreciate, respect and mourn them, too.

My family, for reasons too complicated and confusing to explain, is selling my grandfather's house in Connecticut. He and my grandmother bought it in the seventies, a 1747 saw mill that was in desperate need of someone to love it. They converted it into a home together, a true feat of inspiration and ingenuity. They both loved and lived and died there. It was, simply put, a full house.
Untitled
Late last month, my mom, sister and I spent the weekend gathering things and saying goodbye. The dining table held a feast of Chinese food (like so many before) and we sipped hot and sour soup from mugs because the house had no bowls left. Fortunes were told and immediately forgotten.
Untitled
Untitled
When my grandfather was alive, my mom would wake up early and make omelets on a cast iron skillet. Green peppers, mushrooms, onions, whatever suspect block of cheese my grandfather had in the fridge. They'd always set a plate for my grandmother at the table, even though she died 15 years before. Things like that, they stay.
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
When my grandfather would greet you at the door, he'd offer the same drinks. Heineken, V-8, seltzer and ginger ale. On repeat. For 20 years. I've charted my life stages though my drink choices. A fire would be going in the small fireplace (it was a double-sided charmer, placed right at the entry). He'd order a greek pizza and that was that. 
Untitled
Untitled

Untitled

We rifled around old photos in the morning with our coffees and I had the distinct feeling that with the sale of the house, I was losing people I never had. And losing again people I had already lost. (This was the hardest part.)
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

When the time came, it rained. We loaded up my aunt's truck, hillbilly style, with the most meaningful and special things to drive back down to my place in the city. I put a little cup of bleeding hearts and forget-me-nots on the dash and drove away.

When the house's final remnants were sold, yard sale style, I was 2000 miles away in Portland. I cried that morning, and loudly. Now I feel a bit more at peace, the new owner will take possession this week and I hear she loves the place. A good thing too, it deserves to be loved.