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5/29/15

42. weekend to-do's



li:
  1. mfa day. it's been a while since i visited the mfa and there are a number of new exhibits that opened last month. currently on view: an extensive selection of works by katsushika hokusai, an intimate collection of drawings by leonardo da vinci and an exhibition of photographs depicting the wake of the massive earthquake that hit japan in march of 2011. hopefully i can fit them all into one afternoon...
  2. playtime. if the light up swings and outdoor games weren't enough to make the lawn on d the perfect sunny day destination, they've added some extra incentive this weekend. pentalum is a massive inflatable art installation created by architects of air. the structure utilizes natural light to create a rainbow-like wonderland as ambient music plays in the background. sounds just dreamy.
  3. pick up my copy of remembering mountains: the unheard songs of karen dalton. karen dalton was a folk blues singer and banjo player who released two remarkable albums in the late 60's. though she was never thought of as a writer and neither album contains original songs, she had been sketching lyrics, poems and chords - all found after her death in 1993. a diverse group of artists including sharon van etten, marissa nadler and lucinda williams have fleshed out and interpreted these songs to create a truly moving tribute.
  4. get schooled in the art of great criticism. after reading this wonderful article, i became fascinated by the role of women in rock journalism and the often uphill path they face. i am excited to dig into jessica hopper's the first collection of criticism by a living female rock critic. hopper, a senior editor at pitchfork, has compiled a selection of 20 years worth of work encompassing aspects of culture, politics and the creative phenomenons that have helped to shape the way we consume music.

liz:
  1. porch time. i'm going to be taking advantage of my front porch and this gorgeous weather with some hammock and writing time. i love the size of this leather journal and the best part is you can refill the pages, so it can be reused over and over. li introduced me to this sweet find!
  2. sinatra time. in honor of what would have been his 100th birthday, hbo has released a documentary on the life of frank sinatra. all or nothing at all features numerous intervies and snippets of video with sinatra, so a good portion of it is conveyed in his own words.
  3. pesto time. now that the garden is starting to fill in, i am in pesto making mode. one of my favorite foodie blogs has an easy and delicious pesto recipe that never fails me. i'll be serving this up on grilled chicken breasts with fresh mozzarella, a crispy baguette and grilled asparagus on the side.


5/27/15

41. the french 5: spring // summer


a few months back, we posted about the french concept of the 5 piece wardrobe. we stressed the importance of starting with a foundation of beautiful, well-made basics. the idea is that if you focus on quality and versatility, you will only need to purchase 5 new items every 6 months to supplement them.

now that we've carefully chosen our favorite basics, it's time to spice them up with our 5 spring/summer picks. knowing that you can only choose 5 pieces forces you to put extra thought into your purchases: 

how was it made? what is it made of? owning fewer clothes means paying closer attention to the quality of production. you want these clothes to last years, not for just a season. make this an opportunity to purchase from designers who stand behind their materials and construction.

how will it fit in with what is already in my closet? ideally, when paired with your existing basics, there should be numerous options for how to wear each new item. map out what you already have, what are the pieces that can be thrown into the mix in multiple ways? be creative!


basic: sweater by everlane

we've each listed and linked to the 5 spring/summer pieces that we will be adding to our closets. as you can see, much contemplation went into each piece and we're still coming up with new outfits now that we have these warm-weather additions to compliment our trusted basics. we hope you find some inspiration for your seasonal wardrobe!



li:

skipper tee by ace & jig ace & jig always use the most beautiful textiles - each of their pieces feel so unique. this asymmetrical crop top has a navy side and a black side and can be worn with either in front. i can't wait to pair it with some high waisted shorts or a midi skirt.
parva shorts by osei-duro the gorgeous batik print and flattering cut set these shorts apart. dressier than the usual summer staple, they were made for wedges and a short sleeved sweater.
woven sandals by soludos always good to have a pair of well-made espadrilles to compliment casual outfits or to throw into your beach bag. the ankle ties make these extra special.
over the knee pleated skirt by 7115 by szeki one of my go-to brands for simple, graceful pieces. this skirt epitomizes that aesthetic. it will look equally lovely with a button down, tied at the waist or a tucked in tee.
summit dress by reformation i love the 60's meets 90's vibe of this dress. it would look new wave chic on anna karina or indie cool on kim gordon. slip on a pair of sunglasses and simple black sandals, it's the easiest of summer outfits. i'd switch to a denim jacket and pair of booties for chilly nights.


liz:

classic sheffield watch by daniel wellington this classic and minimalistic watch can easily be dressed up or down and will look great with sleeveless shirts.
the band dress by brass clothing this light weight chiffon dress has a great shape and the best part is, it has pockets! the dress is part of brass' kickstarter campaign so i won't have the dress till july, but it will be so worth the wait.
miranda peep toe clog heel by bryr  i love the little peep toe on these clogs and am gladly waiting the 30 days it takes to make these shoes. each piece is made with american leather and is hand cut and stapled.
riviera stripe maxi skirt by free people i love the delicate and flirty "v" front of this skirt. i'll be pairing this with a basic tank, my new clog heels, and sunglasses. it's the perfect outfit to take me from work to night time activities. 
agate tank by hackwith design house this asymmetrical linen top has beautiful side details and angled pockets for a flattering line. plus, i know my tank is going to be unique since hackwith design house hand makes all of their pieces in batches of 25 or less.





basic: skirt by hanna andersson
basic: avarcas by pons








5/22/15

40. weekend to-do's



li:

  1. yoga on the farm. liz and i are headed to the lovely white barn farm in wrenthem on sunday. we'll be joining yoga instructors jenn falk and carolyn little for a blissful day of yoga and fresh air.
  2. game night. my husband and i love having people over for board games. a friend recently brought over the highly addictive colorku and now we're hooked.
  3. dinner al fresco. gorgeous spring weather means finding every excuse to be outside. restaurants have set up their patios and i am happy to pull up a chair. i'm especially excited to take advantage of the outdoor seating at the brand new naco taco in central square.
  4. get down to fundamentals. i can't wait to look through kinfolk's issue sixteen: the essentials issue. this quarter's theme explores pairing down to the things we can't live without.

liz:

  1. iced tea time. after spending some much needed yoga time outside on sunday, I will be making myself a batch of refreshing home-made mint-ginger iced tea. i'm thinking about garnishing this with a mint sprig, sunglasses and a hammock.
  2. bbq time. it is now officially that magical grilling time of year. since there are numerous bbq's to be had this weekend, i will be starting my grilling season by throwing down some peaches and pairing it with vanilla ice cream. this recipe combines some some of my favorite flavors: honey, lemon, thyme, and vinegar. delicious.
  3. plant those herbs. modern sprout has a great little self-watering herb kit in a ball jar so it is a great size and easy to maintain in an apartment setting. i got my organic basil kit from boston general store and plan on setting it up in my kitchen window sill to give it plenty of light and love.


5/19/15

39. poses and transitions



liz recently had the pleasure of photographing one of our favorite yoga practitioners, kristen woods. shot at the beautiful yoga union studio in new york city, she captured kristen in moments of both stillness and motion as the waning sunlight transitioned to shadows. we were so inspired by the shapes and poses created in these photographs, that we asked kristen to share with us her thoughts about the focus of the shoot and her current yoga practice:

every few years i get the incredible opportunity to take photos with liz mcbride (of this fabulous blog) and when we scheduled this time around, i knew i wanted to capture something a bit different from previous sessions. i wanted to focus more on the details of each pose, what it takes to transition in and out of them and the energy running through each pose. as my dear teacher alison west says, "go to the pose, through the pose". we are always in some state of variation. if we bring this very idea to the forefront, perhaps we can achieve greater overall agility and adaptability in our lives. learning to go with the flow while organizing oneself around a clear, mindful path all while leaving space and courage to accept unknown possibilities.




"each pose is a series of transitions". i'm putting this in quotes because i am sure i've heard it somewhere. it resonates loudly in my mind, and my practice and teaching have been largely centered around this idea. the question "am i ever really in the pose?" is always popping up. as i spend more time studying alignment and breathwork, i feel as though i may be getting closer to what it is all about - this yoga thing that is. it's not finding a perfect pose per se, but approaching a place of balance and freedom in the body, and dare i say, the mind. smoother entries, fuller shapes, steadier, calmer breaths, quiet mind.



alignment yoga is sometimes described as a practice where one "holds the pose", which to some extent is true. however, i have a hard time with the static nature of this statement. no matter what we do, things are always shifting and changing. the breath that is in my body now is different from the breath that was there a moment ago. thinking that the work is over once we arrive in a shape is limiting and erroneous. the pose is always going to evolve in one way or another. the actions in yoga, like everything in nature, are governed by inevitable change.


-kristen





5/15/15

38. weekend to-do's




li:
  1. live music - all day! saturday is somerville's annual porchfest. this year's lineup looks so good, i don't know how i'm going to fit everything in... but i'm certainly going to try.
  2. stock up on local produce. saturday is also the opening day for the union square farmer's market. can't wait to chat with the vendors and pick up some gorgeous fruits and veggies!
  3. end my weekend on a high note. oddisee is one of those rare musicians who manage to sound fresh with each album. i highly recommend giving his new one, the good fight, some listens before heading to middle east upstairs on sunday night to watch him perform (i know i'll be there).

liz:
  1. more live music and light up swings! the lawn on d is throwing a kick-off party with live music, local food trucks and various activities friday and saturday. my band parks is playing saturday night at 9:00 pm but i plan on getting there a little early to enjoy the adult light up swing installation. this year the swings are eco-friendly and powered by solar power! music, food, swings. what more could you want!?
  2. sowa. i missed the opening of the south end open market last weekend so it is a top priority for me this weekend. not only will there be numerous artists and purveyors, the food truck line-up is going to be ridiculously good. can't wait to get my hands on a tasty taco from tenoch.
  3. watch mad men ride off into the sunset. i have been a faithful viewer of the amc show since it's premiere in july of 2007. when it originally aired, i began watching it for the visually stunning sets and costumes. but, i was quickly pulled in by the characters and their personal and professional relationships with each other. this weekend, the iconic series will come to an end and there will be a void in my sunday nights (and heart) from now on.

5/12/15

37. shibori



shibori dates back to japan's 8th century. the term refers to a range of specific dyeing methods, many that can be used in conjunction to achieve results that vary from subtle to elaborate. today, skilled artisans uphold this tradition by recreating painstaking techniques handed down from generation to generation.

the word shibori comes from the japanese root verb shiboru meaning "to wring, squeeze, press". the closest english translation for shibori would be "shape-resist dyeing". there are countless methods to shape, bind, fold and twist the cloth - each creating a unique result. the variables involved in shaping the cloth, in addition to those inherent in the traditional indigo dye process, are responsible shibori's beautiful soft-edge patterns.

inspired by some of the more simple shibori techniques, we decided to give some basic white items a spring makeover. the unique patterns and deep indigo color make pieces dyed in the shibori style beautiful additions to your home and wardrobe. 


materials
light-colored natural fabrics (cotton, linen, silk, hemp)
indigo dye
reducing agent
soda ash
5 gallon bucket with lid
large bucket or basin for water
long stick or paint stirrer
rubber gloves
wood squares
twine
thick dowel or piece of pipe
rubber bands
scissors


prep work
working with dyes can be messy. we highly suggest heading outdoors and throwing down a drop-cloth before getting started. following your dye kit's instructions, fill a 5 gallon bucket with 4 gallons of warm water. pour in dye powder and stir gently in a circular motion. add soda ash and reducing agent, continue to stir in a circular motion, then reverse until everything has dissolved. indigo can oxidize easily, so it's important to cover the bucket as soon as the dye bath is mixed. let sit for at least 20 minutes. 



while you are waiting, you can start to bind and fold your fabric. we chose to work with four different techniques:

kanoko
this technique is most similar to what we think of as tie-dye. it can also be called "fawn shibori" likely due to the resulting pattern's resemblance to the spots on a fawn's back.

simply bunch random sections of fabric and secure with string or rubber bands. after dyeing, the areas that were bound will create small abstract rings.



arashi
also known as pole-wrapping technique, this method requires wrapping the fabric around a thick dowel or piece of pipe. arashi means "storm" in japanese, no doubt in reference to the resulting diagonal stripes reminiscent of an intense rainstorm.

to create this effect, start by wrapping the fabric around the pipe on a diagonal. secure a piece of twine to the pipe and then start to wrap around the fabric. once you are about halfway up, begin scrunching the fabric down. continue to wrap then scrunch the fabric until you reach the top. secure the twine above the fabric.



itajime
known as shape-resistant technique. traditionally, cloth is folded and sandwiched between two small blocks of wood. the shape is then bound to prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric they cover.

to begin, you will fold the fabric in opposite directions (like an accordion) until you have one long strip. you will then begin to fold the strip, accordion-style again, until you get a square or small rectangle. place the fabric between your two wood squares (feel free to substitute different shapes or materials to alter the effect) and bind with bands or clips.



another variation on the shape-resist technique would be a triangle accordion pleat. this effect does not require blocks, simply fold the fabric lengthwise into a wide strip. fold the strip into triangles using the accordion method. bind each corner with a rubber band or clip.


kumo
kumo is a pleated and bound resist. this is a very precise technique of binding fabric in close sections, resulting in specific spider-like designs.

begin to fold your fabric accordion-style once again. pinch and bind into equal sections with rubber bands. bind the opposite side, staggering your sections. continue binding the sections until you have a tight bundle.



dyeing
soak the bound fabric in water then squeeze out as much out as possible. wearing gloves, gently submerge the fabric into the dye bath. hold the fabric down in the dye for 5-10 minutes (the longer the fabric is submerged, the darker the indigo). when you remove the fabric from the dye, it will appear a bright yellow-green color. once it's exposed to the air, it will oxidize and start to change to the distinctive indigo blue. the dye will take about 20 minutes to fully oxidize. once you've allowed this to happen, snip off the bindings to reveal the unique patterns you've created. rinse with clean water and allow to air dry.

the possibilities for lovely, one of a kind pieces are endless!