Friday, May 23, 2014

friday favorites v.2

Hi, and happy Friday!  I hope you've had a great week.

Friends in the US, I hope you have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend!  I plan on spending my long weekend knitting, spinning, spending time with my brother, doing some yoga, and checking out yard sales.  I found six beautiful 1940s handkerchiefs at a yard sale a few weeks ago, along with a very sweet card with Gustav Klimt's The Kiss on the front.  I'm hoping to find some cute vintage home decor this weekend.

Here are a few of my favorite finds this week!

rose and rhubarb bundt cake 
This rose and rhubarb cake sounds delicious, and I love how it looks in a fluted bundt cake pan.  

john howe bag end 
John Howe is a renowned Tolkien illustrator who was also a concept artist for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films.  I've always had a special place in my heart for his drawings of Bag End.  His vision of how Bilbo Baggins's hobbit hole should look is now so iconic that it's impossible to imagine it any other way.

blue hydrangeas 
It's the season for one of my very favorite flowers-- hydrangeas!  The blossoms in this photo look so lush and fresh!

printable drink beach umbrellas   
These plastic picnic plates from Anthropologie are so summery and bright!  They're illustrated by artist Ashley Longshore.  

giant paper flowers
How fun are these enormous paper flowers from the blog Mokkasin?  The instructions are in Swedish, but Google Translate does a good enough job that it shouldn't be too hard to follow.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

favorite spaces: the alhambra palace at granada

There are places in the world that seem just too magical to be real-- for me, the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain is one of those places. 

 alhambra granada 
 I first fell in love with the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, when I read The Constant Princess by Phillipa Gregory.  It's a beautiful and heartbreaking imagining of the story of Katherine of Aragon, who eventually married Henry Tudor.  The beginning of the story is set in the Alhambra, and the descriptions of the beautiful carved plaster walls and ceilings absolutely mesmerized me. 

 alhambra granada 
This is the ceiling of the Hall of the Two Sisters.  In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful and impressive tributes to the ingenuity of the medieval Moorish people, who originally built the Alhambra Palace.  Not only is this ceiling stunning to look at, but the mathematical complexity of creating this design, and ensuring it would be able to be supported by the surrounding walls, is astonishing.

 alhambra granada
Isn't it incredible that every bit of the beautiful carving in the Alhambra was done by hand?  The sheer amount of work is mind-blowing.  The combination of incredible design and phenomenal, patient craftsmanship, created without modern machinery, is hard to comprehend.

alhambra granada

One of the most wonderful things about The Constant Princess was hearing the perspective of a teenage girl living in such an incredible place-- and yet, to Katharine, that was just the latest event in a tumultuous childhood.  This photo, with the views out of the intricate windows, somehow makes the palace seem like it could have been a home to a girl who was the same age as I was when I first read the book.  Incidentally, if you're a fan of the HBO series The Tudors, I think The Constant Princess would be an interesting bit of (fictionalized) backstory to give the television show's portrayal of Katharine more context.  She comes off as cold, stubborn, and kind of one-dimensional in the show (in my humble opinion), but I think that reading The Constant Princess gives much more insight into her character's motivations.

alhambra granada
The Court of the Lions is stunning... The arches and plaster tracery are so delicately detailed, and the bolder, more solid lions around the base of the fountain offer such a strong contrast. 

alhambra granada

alhambra granada
These detail shots of the arches into the Court of the Lions show such beautiful, thoughtful design, and again, an absolutely massive amount of exacting work.

alhambra granada 
I would love to visit the Alhambra someday.  I can't even imagine how it would feel to see and touch this incredibly inspiring work of art in person.

Thank you for letting me share this beautiful space with you!

photo credits:

Friday, May 16, 2014

friday favorites

Hi there chickadees!  I am switching my 'Much Love Monday' feature to 'Friday Favorites'!  I am not online much over weekends, so it just makes more sense for me to share my favorite bits and pieces from around the interwebs on Fridays. Then I've had the week to poke around online while having breakfast every morning or while cuddling two certain kitties.  Without further ado, here are my spring-inspired picks this week.

grey and pink bedroom cottage 
This bedroom is so beautiful and calming.  

floral flowers embroidery 
These crewel embroidery flowers are so pretty.  This would look beautiful on the bodice of a dress.

nutella pops popsicles 
Nutella pops.  Ooooooh.  I just purchased a popsicle-maker so that I could make healthy no-sugar-added popsicles this summer.  Naturally I'll be trying these chocolate-y, hazel-nutty ones first.

chocolate quote 
Good thing I have these wise words on my side.  Those Nutella popsicles will be basically like frozen vegetables.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  

dried flowers eye makeup 
Alphonse Mucha's La Primavere is so evocative of the relief of spring's arrival after a long, cold winter!

beige blue coral pink living room 
This beautiful living room, photographed by David Christensen, is so inspiring.  I'm currently redecorating my living room in white, tan, and robin's egg blue-- I love the pop of coral to warm it up.

winifred barnes 1910s
I love the delicate hand-coloring on this photograph of the actress Winifred Barnes, taken in the 1910s.

Have a beautiful weekend!