A few of my favorite things: Little Brown Pen
Hi everyone. I’m Nichole from Little Brown Pen (blog and etsy shop), and I’m delighted to share a few of my favorite things today. It’s no surprise Holly asked me to take part in this series, as a few of her favorite things are now mine. Quite literally.
Last month, my husband and I drove to Holly’s home in New Hampshire, and like a couple of brazen, broad-daylight thieves, stuffed her sofa, chairs, tables, dresser and lamps into the back of a UHaul. We took anything that wasn’t nailed down, including some rhubarb we yanked out of the patch next to her shed.
What surprised us most is that Holly and her husband allowed this to happen. No arguments. No cops. No car chases. Not even a token four-letter word. In fact, Holly and Thorsten helped us load the truck, and provided us with refreshments and a parting gift (a cute Jonathan Adler plate).
If this sounds like it took place in some sort of alternate universe where fairy design bloggers bestow their best furniture upon the needy, you’re not far off. We were very much in need of furniture—lots of furniture—because we had just returned from living abroad in Pairs. Holly was more than happy to stuff our Uhaul, because the more we took, the less she had to worry about selling prior to her move to Germany. Her move abroad and our return to the US could not have been timed any better. Divine design intervention? You bet. Holly’s furniture has made our new house feel like a home, and I’ve shifted my focus from the things my home needs to things in my home that make me happy. Here are a few of them.
The patio. I went completely crazy at the nursery, and transformed our bare patio into a cheerful, green space where my husband and I enjoy early evening drinks.
The kitchen nook. Thanks to Holly’s table and chairs, and the light from the large windows, this is one of my favorite places to have afternoon coffee.
The office. I’m a freelance writer, and for as long as I can remember I’ve longed for an office. For years, I lived in small apartments and worked on my bed or at the kitchen table. I feel spoiled simply because I get to sit on a chair at a real desk.
The living room. I like to ambush my unsuspecting toddlers when they’re chilling out on the couch – kisses, hugs, giggles. The good stuff.
The kitchen. Especially the espresso machine. It was a splurge when I was pregnant with my second son. We cancelled our vacation due to relentless morning sickness, and as consolation, channeled the money we would have spent into an outrageously priced espresso machine. We use it multiple times a day, and it’s honestly the best money we ever spent.
On Inspiration: When it comes to inspiration, it comes down to two things: complex thought and simple living. I’m inspired by people who make me think, rethink, engage, and question, and by the small pleasures (coffee, snow, laughter) that add up to a full life.
On Advice: When it comes to advice, I look to my dad. He taught me simple, but important things like, “don’t get in over your head,” “don’t stress about things you can’t change,” and “enjoy every moment.” I’ve rarely seen my dad in a bad mood – he takes everything in stride – and it’s served him well. He’s one of the happiest, most content people I know. When I feel lost, disconnected or in need of a kick in the pants, I read Alain de Botton or Matthew Arnold. Their eloquent writing and insight into the human condition inspire me to either write better or live better. And usually both. – Nichole
(images: little brown pen)
A few of my favorite things: Freshlyblended
Hey folks, it’s Nicole from Freshlyblended~ I’m here to share with you a few of my favorite things while Holly is on the move. I hope you enjoy my sneak peek at some of the things that inspire me day by day, some that I’ve just randomly collected through the years and others that hold deep meaning in my life.
This is one of my most favorite things in my whole house and it’s not even mine! it’s a beautiful quilt handmade from my good friend Shanna Murray for my little peanut, Zoe. She threw me the best baby shower this year and on top of that made my daughter something original and handmade she can cherish her whole life.
My little matryoshka nesting cats, given to me from my grandmother one Christmas. They are each hand painted and in the very smallest cat you’ll find the mouse. They sit right in front of one of my two Dawbis pieces.
My vintage cameras, (I have one more not shown in the photo), all were either given to me or found somewhere.
A great vintage 1930’s serving tray that I found at the world’s largest yard sale. Isn’t it pretty?
Two very dear to my heart drawings that my mother did in 1971. These are a creative reminder for me every time I stop to take a gander. These pieces let me know where my roots are and represent how important art is to me in my life.
My Julia Rothman print which sits right off to the side of one of the great peaked archways in my house. (built in the 1940’s, it’s a common architectural style in that era).
There are many things that inspire me, each day it’s something different but my mainstay is nature… I’ve always been fond of the outdoors and all it’s organic beauty. Most of my hobbies are related to the outdoors, I’m an avid gardener even though where I live (upstate New York) we only get about 3 months of decent weather every year. Most of the time it’s snowing so I’ll then hit the slopes and go snowboarding with my husband or just cozy in with the family and watch a good flick. I’m very much a homebody even though I run such a creatively rich blog, family is the most coveted thing in my life and much of my creative inspiration stems from them. I have creative roots on both sides of my family, ranging from architecture to quilting! My goal is to pass along all the creative wisdom I’ve collected through the years to my daughter in hopes that she can appreciate the little things in life that inspire, as I do. - Nicole
I thought I’d share with you a small curated collection of just a handful of things that I’ve come across over the past week. No real theme, rhyme or reason, just things that caught my eye. Good things. :)
We Make Sense poster from Bubbo, whom I adore. Isn’t this the best?
Sandra Juto and her wrist worms make me happy today, I’m already thinking about owning a pair for Autumn. Lots of girls wear them where I live and though I own a few felted ones, I don’t have knitted ones from Sandra. Yet.
I also love New Hampshire artist/designer Lisa Occhipinti’s pink journal, it makes my heart pitter pat just a little harder. Lisa is awesome, what a lady.
Noa Noa’s Fall collection, which I enjoyed the full preview yesterday because my local shop was stocking it. Can you believe I live 5 minutes by foot to a Noa Noa? Warning: danger! danger! I picked up their Fall catalog too – it’s gorgeous and set in some beautiful rooms. Very inspiring. Get your hands on a copy if you can.
(images linked to their sources above)