Tuesday, May 31

shop update & a giveaway

polaroid prints

new polaroids in the shop!

Yesterday's holiday picnic took place in the woods at my uncle's house ~ a scarlet tanager showed up and pretty soon the lot of us were standing on the drive below the tree while the bird flashed crimson in the sunlight as it chased caterpillars high above.

I've never seen one before.

In honor of my first sighting of the scarlet tanager, I'm offering a free 5 x 5 print of this polaroid ~

~ to one lucky person who leaves a comment telling me which is their favorite bird. Giveaway ends wednesday at midnight.

also ~ I have a bunch of new polaroid prints in the shop, and from now on, I can print any photo you see on this blog or on my flickr. (just an fyi if you see something you want to live with.)

happy tuesday!!

x brooke


Sunday, May 29

I got new glasses

I just picked up my new glasses and that gave me an excuse to visit the photobooth at the movie theatre. I had to wait for two little boys to finish taking their "Most Wanted" photo.

I love my prescription sunglasses. I've never had a pair before.


Saturday, May 28

camping and gramom's cloud biscuits

camping ~ cloud biscuits


At home, mix 2 cups whole wheat and white flours, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder and half a teaspoon salt, then chop in one half cup of butter till fine. Pop into a container. In a small jar, add 1 egg to slightly less than 1 cup milk, and put the lid on. Bring these things camping.

camping ~ cloud biscuits


camping ~ cloud biscuits


On your campsite table, add wet mixture to dry. Don't overmix.

camping ~ cloud biscuits


Spoon into preheated dutch oven and bake until browned.

(If you want to make these and you aren't camping, spoon them in dollops onto a buttered cookie sheet and bake 12-15 minutes at 450* F)

I love eating.

camping ~ cloud biscuits

Do you have any favorite camping recipes?


Friday, May 27

the weekend is beginning out purple

my gramom Ellie's pebbles from a trip to california

Drinking a cool glass of ginger kombucha, adding a few vintage cards embroidered with feathers to my shop, watching the old film The whales of august, charmed by cori's rock collections and loving this zodiac jewelry.

Ah, friday.

We have a wedding to go to this evening and pretty soon I'll start getting all gussied up. I'm thinking purple.

Enjoy your weekend!

x brooke


Thursday, May 26

afternoon tea

Iced nettle tea, a loose dress, the cat winding her soft sides around my calves.

I always cover my Moleskines with a nice piece of fabric that seems to appear just when it is needed. Yesterday on our walk I found a chair covered in a gorgeous tattered piece of light-sensitive fabric sun-printed with ferns, white on bluest blue, which I'll use for my next journal cover.

I really need to tackle my studio so it looks presentable today.

(and my polaroids got shared over here recently)


Tuesday, May 24

this is spring water

my sharkstooth collection

He draws his strength from the soil of his own nature and his life experience. This is spring water.

What a beautiful way to describe someone's work. I'm reading The unknown craftsman, a japanese insight into beauty.* 

Tim and I walked after dinner tonight, a leisurely neighborhood walk where I pretend I'm redoing all the gardens of the houses and all the crepuscular animals are out and we occasionally spot a piece of the smouldering setting sun in the trees. We saw rabbits running and stood still, and they forgot us and ran after each other, playing a sort of tag without "it" on the front lawns of a quiet street.

Tomorrow I plan on finishing the poems on my desk so that when I open the door, the wind does not blow them away.

Anything interesting happen for you lately?

*by Soetsu Yanagi

donovan goes camping

donovan goes camping

donovan goes camping

donovan goes camping

donovan goes camping

Tim went camping over the weekend with his brother, and donovan went with them. They've been together ever since 9 years back when donovan ran over as a 6-week old puppy and chewed on tim's shoelace. Two weeks later he went to live with him and has been treasured ever since.

I noticed when they got back home this weekend that nearly every photo had donovan in it.

*taken by tim

Monday, May 23

through the looking-glass


thank you all for your wonderful and kind comments on my last post. I treasure each one!

Saturday, May 21

why I write my blog the way I do


My life isn't perfect. It isn't a happy thing to be me every day, though it may look like it here, in this small controllable digital sliver of my life.

I could write about how I don't do all the things I think I should, like meditation or yoga or climbing or eating more organic food, or how my cellulite depresses me.

How I can lose my temper with my dog because she stares at me so much, or how I don't like giving hugs at family get-togethers and that this makes me feel like a selfish person. How sometimes when I run errands I can't stand talking to anybody even though I'm being unfriendly, and I don't even care. How I get angry about a lot of stuff because it isn't done my way. How my house is often a complete mess, and that I'm a complainer.

How I get exhausted by all there is to do, every single day.

If I have a horrible day because I have so much to do I feel trapped, I'm constipated, the bathroom sink is covered in beard-trimming hairs and that black mold is really gaining a foothold on the tub ~ and I had to make an epic journey to the co-op because the fridge is empty and tim's at work, and I just barely made it home on the gas fumes in my tank, burned out and starving, to find one dog has eaten the cat food and the last half of my chocolate bar, again, the other has pooped in front of the back door, and I forgot to get peanut butter, I am probably not going to write about these things.

(have I ever even had the word poop on my blog before?)

Life is short, you have your own issues, and it doesn't make me feel any better to gripe. I'd rather focus on the positive and the good, because this world is full of dingy stuff, full of hardship and worry and pain and poison and stings. That is the life experience.

I am probably going to write about how after I finally went to the bathroom, drank a glass of water, cleaned up the cat food and the poop, put the groceries away and let the dogs out, I went into the backyard and walked barefoot on the velvety grass. How I sat and listened to the house finch singing to his wife, and noticed the cat luxuriating in her nap while the bees kissed the sage and tiny airplanes stitched through the clouds and I felt my troubles begin to melt away.

That is where I want to be ~ that is the part of my life that I want to build endurance in. The positive muscle. Even though I find it so much easier to point out flaws, cracks and everything that's wrong.

I want to collect my experiences here, those that I might not stop to absorb during all my rushing in my harried and lost-temper mornings. I want to slow down ~ see afresh ~ appreciate.

When I come here I want to be uplifted, encouraged ~ I want to know that events have perspective, that they fit into a bigger picture. We are all here on this crazy big earth and no one knows for sure what happens when we die but... it'll be okay.

Each of us have beautiful moments even in our hardest days. In this small pure space, that is what I choose to focus on ~ the diamonds in the rough.

xo brooke

* photo by tim

Friday, May 20

a flotilla of stars

Walking the dog just now and the rain began. Bouncing off car roofs in the bright sunlight and casting into being a large rainbow in front of which, as the dog and I became soaked, I watched 5 star-shaped helium balloons float up from some friday-night gathering. I watched them until they were so small I couldn't make out they were stars, and then they went even higher.


Thursday, May 19

birdsong and undercover mustaches

me in the photobooth at the movies

Ever since happiness heard your name it has been running through the streets trying to find you.

~ hafiz

The birdsong is like church gongs outside, they are belling all over the garden. The secretive birds a-fluttter with their beaks of grass looking like undercover mustaches ~ the red headed house finches trying valiantly to build onto the chimney pipe ~ the newly-hatched crumpled blossoms on the tomato seedling...

What's bringing you happiness today?


Tuesday, May 17

blue ridge

blue ridge

This is from a trip tim and I did down through the blue ridge mountains two years ago. I came across this photo and I remembered that evening ~ a swathe cut through a hilly field, the sun setting next to our campground, and monarchs on the queen anne's lace. The dogs tired and we in need of cooling campground showers.

We later built a campfire in the dew and caught a glimpse of the three dogs that had been abandonded at the campground ~ the campground owner was trying to lure them with food but they were skittish. I hoped so badly to befriend one and bring it home with us, but they were so shy and ran into the darkness. I still think about them sometimes.


Monday, May 16

as per usual

polaroid from last thursday ~ tea and camping

heating on a pot of freshly boiled tea

heating the polaroid on a freshly boiled pot of tea to bring up the warm colors

Last night's moon rose pink and almost full in the lavender sky as the day turned from moist and humid to a deliciously chilly temperature. I put on a sweater.

The rain had fallen all day and at times the sun broke through to dash upon the drops and polish them like sharp crystals. I planted tomatoes and split my herbs among the garden stepping stones in the pauses, soaking the hems of my loose cotton "weekending" pants, the cat always at my side. Hummingbird nectar got made and put out, and a check in the garden journal showed that on this day last year, I saw my first hummer in the garden.

The house is also now cleaned (somewhat) and so then my mind is too (somewhat) ~ the two go hand in hand. Lists have diminished or disappeared altogether and a confused morning gave way to a serene evening (as per usual.)

How was your weekend?


Sunday, May 15

time's indiscernible logic

Today I saw the first hummingbird, and found one half of a dollar bill under a sycamore tree. The robins are busy flapping and making a ruckus building their nest, and the rain is gently falling and bringing out all the delicious colors.

I have been getting packages and postcards ready to send ~ I love doing that sort of thing (especially peeling stamps and sticking them on.)

Time has been so busy and now, with indiscernible logic, it is suddenly slow once more, so I have the ability to do things unhurriedly.

(if you've ever wished or dreamt you could fly, watch this.)


Saturday, May 14

i love camping











*photos with *s taken by tim

Friday, May 13

camping essentials

camping essentials


It's worth camping for one night just to see the morning in the woods.

We got home to find that robins are building a nest in our hops! We have the tiniest backyard in the world so I am over the moon that they have chosen our garden.


Wednesday, May 11

there is a fullness to the woods

chalkboard at the postcard inn, st pete's beach, florida

As much as I love the beach ~ the sun, the warm water, the aquatic wildlife ~ my peace is with the shady filled woods, its hidden creatures and complex growing things. I love the seasons and the changing greens. I like wearing sweaters in the evening and not worrying about the sun, picnics on swathes of soft limp grass, and dew falling. I like the star fields over treetops full of little fresh oak leaves, and the quality of breathable light being bounced around the forest.

There is a fullness to the woods, to trees whispering, to sound when there is no sea.

We're going camping overnight tonight, the first of the year.


Tuesday, May 10

in the studio

little chairs of rolled book pages

book page, thread, beeswax

studio desk

New work in the shop (including a half dozen altered books) ~ it was a beautiful week.


Monday, May 9

watching the thousand rainbows glide

Express yourself completely, then keep quiet.

~ the Tao

Arising early-for-me this morning, I made cinnamon rolls for our monday breakfast ritual, moving the 35mm film canisters to get to the yeast on the fridge shelf, scattering the dough with chopped walnuts and brown sugar and rising it in the sun. So delicious. I told tim to arrive at the table at 10 ready to eat and with a cheerful disposition, which he did (he is not a morning person.)

I have been waking incrementally earlier myself, loving the light in the garden which I peer at, listening to all things bird, and watching the thousand rainbows glide along the walls from the glass chandelier which I found at someone's curb last week on trash day and took apart.

The other day I stumbled across a fabulous old copy of The Borrowers, which reminded me of the copy I read as a teenager. I get very attached to my first reads and don't like new editions or changed illustrations, so am always on the lookout for old and worn-in books to add to my stacks. This book had the same wonderful font and old bendy heft which I associate with that story, and when I flipped to the back page, it was stamped with the name of my old library. I think it is the same book.


I shot some new polaroids this week for the new words to shoot by, came across this lovely post about collecting and gathering tendencies, kind of want to get another tattoo after reading this post, (what tattoos?) and I'm still tickled about the guest interview with Mandi.

I found out this weekend's newspaper held a nice review of my show! I am, needless to say, so pleased, and a friend has promised to send me a copy since I don't get the newspaper. I just brought what's left of the show home in boxes and tissue paper, and some will go into my shop, others will go back up on my studio walls, and some will get packed away for my solo show coming up this fall in Harrisburg.

Life is ebullient! Hope you are finding that true as well.

xo brooke


Sunday, May 8

mother's day

mothers come in all shapes and sizes

found tucked into a book I thrifted this week


Saturday, May 7

everything was pleasant that day somehow


wasp paper, seed pod, acorn, painted seed, feather,
native american shell amulet, book ladder, polaroid
on black velvet

Everything was pleasant that day somehow. There are some days like that, you know, when everything goes well from the very beginning; all the things you want are in their places, nobody misunderstands you, and all that you do turns out admirably.*

There are butterflies in the garden, the lavender is green, and the studio is cleaned. A fresh glass of kombucha is at my elbow along with a good book, and my feet are ankle deep in our patch of lawn out back, which is thick with clover and dotted with pets.

While at the thrift shop this week I found a book on hummingbirds ~

hummingbird nest


And on a garage sale hunt today I picked up a beautiful Singer sewing machine for a song; the lady's daughter was there to show me how it worked ~ she had learned to sew on it and had just bought a fancier one. It is a lovely white with a cast-iron base. I need one of my own for some of my artwork and to sew drawstring bags like my grandmother used to ~ I have a gorgeous piece of thrifted linen just waiting to be made into something beautiful.

I also found a double pack of Polaroid 600 expired film. I tell you this to give you hope; the old pola film can still be found out there ~ on some unexpected saturday I hope some waits for you.

Due to some happy responses, I'm extending my snail mail invite, so if you would like to receive a postcard from me, email your address to me here ~ flypeterfly AT hotmail DOT com ~ by monday night and I'll send you something cheery!


You can also find me doing a guest interview over here on the lovely Amanda Johnson's blog, here's looking at me, kid. I had a lot of fun doing it and share about my work, my inspirations, how I got started doing what I do, and what happens to all my old cereal boxes.

* from the enchanted castle, by e. nesbit
**photo credit george d. lepp