Autumn greetings!

Soon I hope to share some of the projects and creations that have kept me scarce on the blog-circuit as of late. Until then, here are some recent inspirations:

* the playful & creative relationship of Something's Hiding in Here, as evidenced in their "I Made This For You" series

* a "WOW" stylist + designer

* the idea of whipping this up for the griddle this fall

* this Parisian hotel (a girl can dream!)

* a simple and elegant DIY gift idea for the holidays

* this embroidered love message

* achingly beautiful "Land Art" by Richard Shilling

* peacefulness & authenticity as portrayed through this video (via the abundantly inspirational Andrea of Superhero Journal)
Reading the October issue of Sunset Magazine is like a mini-retreat - I feel transported and inspired. I'm especially fond of the pumpkin carving project above by artist, Nikki McClure.

I'm also enchanted by the idea of a modular guest house + studio as beautifully reflected in the Sunset Modern Prefab Cottage.
Have you seen this film? If not, move it to the top of your Netflix queue. The DVD interview with Writer & Director, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is especially enlightening.
This past weekend, I attended an Open House at the charming Hazel to view new works by Laura Berger. I met Laura through the Beckoning of Lovely project and was thrilled to see her fun and whimsical work so beautifully displayed on the walls of one of my favorite Chicago boutiques.

I also spent some time at the Renegade Craft Fair and discovered some wonderfully talented artists. My favorites of the day were: the hysterical Fomato, the illustration and print work of Anne Benjamin, and the invitation portfolio of Baumbirdy (brides-to-be, check it out!).
Did you know this is how sunflower seeds are collected?
It's difficult to define or describe joy. I found it rippling through me this past weekend and I tried to absorb it as much as possible - hold it, feel supported by it, grateful for it...

Life is beautiful - enjoy it!

Signs along the way.
Sometimes you feel trapped -

trapped in a mood
in a place
in questions
by the weather
trapped in the now

Yesterday I felt like that and forced myself out with rain boots & an umbrella. It's amazing what a little fresh air and exposure to greenery can do for one's spirits.

(A bright rainbow umbrella certainly helps :)

This one is titled, Catching Tree Tears:

What do you do to "get free"?
I've been a little distracted lately organizing my Flickr photostream. Flickr is such a microcosm of talent and beauty - it's easy to be swept away.

This past weekend I attended a Summer's Eve Dinner to benefit Slow Food Chicago. The menu was ode to the heirloom (so much meaning in this word) tomato covering such tasty creations as mini BLTs, light-as-air tomato foccacia and a basil & garlic tagliatelle worth stuffing oneself for. There were a couple of local farmers present to discuss their growing practices. I was especially interested in a remark about understanding the intelligence of a seed.

If you haven't experienced the pleasure of a Slow Food event, look up your local chapter.
Get lost in Living Etc's Inspiration Gallery.