20 March 2014

Book Lust // BiblioCraft


Because I have been known to pick up an old book just for its end papers or just for a small illustration on one page out of one hundred, I wanted to share what looks to be a wonderfully curated and beautifully photographed library-inspired craft book.

BiblioCraft, published by Abrams, includes project ideas inspired by all facets of library materials and encourages readers to get lost in the stacks (one of my personal favorite things to do): "Explore and discover. Collect and learn. Wander and reveal."


Written by NYPL Rare Books Librarian Jessica Pigza and featuring projects from Grace Bonney and Heather Ross (to name a few), this book appears to be something I will literally pore over for hours and hours. And it's already inspired me to set aside some time this weekend to become reacquainted with my personal collection of old books - how many lovely quirks and little oddities are there to be found within the pages to jolt a creative spark?

I've already put in my request slip at the library!

13 March 2014

(Copyright Sarah Greenman)
I'm so excited to share that my little Tweed Cottage is on Houzz.com! I had the best experience with writer, blogger, and photographer Sarah Greenman when she came over to shoot the house a few weekends ago and I'm so pleased with the results. Check out the full article here!

In other news... it's been awhile, eh? I'm definitely not winning any blogging awards anytime soon. There's been plenty of activity over here, though, don't worry - parties, book clubs, game nights, quiet time, TV time (the most important time) and fun crafternoons. I should probably remember to start taking and sharing some pictures, huh? So that's what a blogger does! Heh.

Hope you are doing well, friends! And if you're new here, welcome!

03 September 2013

texas forever

clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose.

you can't go on a west texas road trip without referencing friday night lights, am i right? (if you haven't seen this show, do it! it is so not about the football. well, it is, but it isn't.) i spent a long labor day weekend visiting my friends out in alpine, texas. it was my third trip out to west texas in less than two years and each time, i like it more and more. there's not a whole lot to see and there's not a whole lot to do, but, man, it's beautiful.

of course there were a few trips to marfa, which is just west of alpine. i always make the trek to snap a picture of prada marfa (which isn't actually in marfa) and this time there was a new (controversial) installation just outside the city, playboy marfa.

we also ate at el paisano hotel, where james dean and elizabeth taylor stayed while filming giant in the early 1950s, before standing under the amazing night sky trying to find the marfa mystery lights.

a few of my favorite places to visit in west texas are terlingua and big bend national park. terlingua is a mercury mining ghost town and has an amazing cemetery with graves dating back to 1903. it also has a fantastic view of the chisos mountains in big bend and the sierra del carmens in mexico.

we did a driving tour of big bend this time (there were five of us in the car) and got out to hike to the hot springs. it's crazy how quick the landscape changes from mountain to desert to something almost tropical. it was stupidly hot and we were all glad to be back home after a long day exploring (read: mac & cheese and pajamas).

of course, there was some much needed couch-surfing on the last day. after a late breakfast at buns & roses in marfa, we pretty much devoured the first season of american horror story (why did it take me so long to watch this?!) and grazed on pizza. 

so, all in all, an excellent little break from real life. did you have a good holiday?

19 August 2013

reading // gulp by mary roach

(*note: if you're reading this post through a reader and it cuts off after the first paragraph, click through for the full effect! for some reason, it's getting cut off by the video underneath)

one of the things i did during the great void was join a book club. it's a small group that my co-worker started (we've never had more than five at a gathering) and i love it so much. i've never been in a book club, so i'm not sure how the selection of books usually works, but in our group we take turns choosing the book and hosting the club. a friend asked me recently if it was similar to the 'finer things club' from the office. ha! it kind of is.

somewhere along the line, we began to theme our dinners to the books. and we've had some epic gatherings: habibi by craig thompson and a mediterranean feast; grace by grace coddington with an indonesian spread; gods of gotham by lyndsay faye paired with oysters and champagne; anna karenina by leo tolstoy with rustic portobello stroganoff; gone girl by gillian flynn with gourmet frito pie; and damned by chuck palahaniuk served with a decadent seven deadly sins supper. this club's a keeper.

as you can tell, we've chosen a wide range of topics and titles over the months and it has kept things very interesting! august was my month to choose and to host, so i picked gulp by mary roach. oh, my gosh, do i love mary roach. are you familiar with her work? she's a science writer with a sense of humor. let me tell you, it is hard for me to get through non-fiction and her witticisms make it do-able. her newest work covers everything from taste and smell to stomach acids and bacteria to rectum smuggling and elvis' mega-colon. catch your attention?

i loved it (maybe too much?) and i have to give my friends props for getting through most of it -- there were some pretty eye-opening (and stomach-turning!) descriptions going on.

to go with gulp, i decided that a night of tastings would be fun - cheese, wine, and chocolate! plus, we did a fun and easy taste experiment that went along with a chapter in the book. now, i know nothing about cheese. give me a hunk o' colby from the local supermarket and i'm pretty happy. my sister is a bit of a connoisseur, though, so i consulted with her and spent a lot of time on pinterest looking up cheese plate anatomy.

turns out, it's not that hard. if i learned anything it's this: get a goat cheese, a brie, a bleu, and one or two hard cheeses (cheddar or manchego) and you're done. pair it with dried fruits, some nuts (walnuts or almonds work great), crusty bread, honey, a bit of mustard and you're good to go.

i picked up a chocolate sampler from a local dark chocolatier, dude sweet chocolate, and it was so much fun to go through the box and taste some truly inspired combinations. i think we all loved the honey and hated the radish!
it was a good night! we chose never let me go by kazuo ishiguro for september and i'm excited to start it! i read it a few years ago, but it's been long enough that i don't quite remember all the specifics, which is good.

what are you reading?

13 August 2013

watching // moone boy

any hulu subscribers out there? i'm going on my third year without cable -- best decision ever! -- and have found plenty to watch between streaming netflix, hulu, and amazon prime on my xbox. one of the things i love about hulu (to offset my annoyance with the same commercials that are played over and over and over again [first world problem, i know]) is that they have a few britcoms that i can't find anywhere else.

because britcoms are important to me.

these hulu "exclusive" series (exclusive to US audiences, i presume) include spy, whites, pramfacerev, and, most recently, moone boy. and can i tell you how much i love moone boy? so, so much.

moone boy follows martin moone, a lovable and eccentric 12-year-old boy from ireland and his much-older, always empathetic, slightly sarcastic imaginary friend, sean murphy, who is played by one of my absolute favorite actors, chris o'dowd. martin and sean conquer bullies, siblings, adolescence, and the corrupt altar boy gang in an endearing and often laugh-out-loud manner (man, that description sounds a bit like a tv guide write-up, but it's true. i am endeared.). and there's some pretty great guest stars, too - steve coogan and jessica hynes, to name a few!

i love that chris o'dowd is a writer and producer and that moone boy is semi-autobiographical. it kills me to think of how stinkin' cute chris o'dowd would have been as a weird kid growing up in ireland.

i just finished watching the first series and am thinking of re-watching it straight away. i don't even want to think of how long it will be until the second series is available stateside. i don't think i've fallen this hard for a britcom since peep show or gavin and stacey (and that's saying a lot because i love, love, love g&s and have watched it more times than i care to admit).

what are you watching? i'm looking forward to checking out the wrong mans next (and really, really wishing i could get a glimpse at twenty twelve and miranda)!

10 August 2013

the many moods of mr. jerry orbach // shark week

jerry orbach is glad shark week is almost over. frankly, he's ready for the stress and nightmares to stop.

(as a kid, i was terrified of sharks ... and i still am. sharks and spiders. all creatures great and small, i guess! i admire their work and i know they are indispensable to the delicate circle of life, but, man... i can't be messin' with that.)

09 August 2013

file me away on a beautiful mess

how did i not post this yesterday, y'all?! my little ol' house was featured on a beautiful mess!! on a whim, i submitted a few photos for their 'at home with' series and was asked to share more pictures of tweed cottage and to answer a few questions.

well, i got to scrubbing (this place will never be so clean again. ever.) and snapping pictures and editing and worrying (because i worry about everything) before i said, "enough!" and turned them in. check it out.

i was a bit nervous to put so much personality out there, but i'm so happy to find that people get it. they get the jokes and the colors and the oddities and the crazy. and that's plain awesome.

if you are new here, welcome! i hope you have fun.

(p.s. fun story - that card game up there? what started as 'let's pretend to be playing cards' turned into a real-ish game of go fish, which ended in tears for one of my nieces shortly after this shot. we all went out for gelato after that, so she got over it pretty quickly. so thankful for a fun-loving family!)

08 August 2013

around us // a video

hi guys! hope you're having a good day. it's hot here (whine, whine), so i thought i'd stay indoors and re-live a fun summer memory from when it was actually kind of cool in june.

i kept my nieces for the night and it's become a tradition to make a video of them playing and (hopefully) having a good time! enjoy!

June 29, 2013 from Megan Charters on Vimeo.

music by my love jonsi. (you can see the video from 2011 here)

06 August 2013

the many moods of mr. jerry orbach // root beer float day

did you know today was national root beer float day? i had no idea root beer float day was even a thing and just this past weekend i gathered all the ingredients to make my favorite cocktail when my friends were over. it was meant to be!

jerry wanted me to remind you that brain freezes hurt -- celebrate responsibly, friends.

05 August 2013

the many moods of mr. jerry orbach // a recap (part one)

so, while i may not have been blogging about it, i was still dressing up my portrait of jerry orbach. priorities, right? by the end of 2012, jerry had been dudded up in 24 different looks. we saw his first six here and, without further ado, here are the next six styles of my favorite (pretend) man.

(sorry for poor quality on some of these photos - i was still snapping iPhone pics late at night for most of these!)

birthday jerry swanson wants all the bacon and eggs you've got (for my breakfast-for-dinner birthday party)

jerry orbach hopes you get lucky (for st. patrick's day)

somebunny loves you (for easter)

don't let jerry orbach fool you (for april fool's day)

jerry orbach prefers the smooth sounds of analog (for record store day)

a stellar star wars day, jedi orbach hopes you have (for may the fourth)

i have to say, jedi orbach is my favorite from this batch. i remembered at 10:00pm on may 3rd that a perfect dress-up opportunity was about to roll around. i had this made up and photographed within an hour and it still makes me laugh.

stay tuned for the next twelve looks from 2012!