calligraphy, colonial style

by Justine on August 27, 2014

in history,kids,my photography

dipping the quill

While on a recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg (see Williamsburg in the 21st Century: An Insider’s Guide), I purchased some feather quills, natural inks, and handmade paper books for the children to write in. Last night while I made dinner, Oliver decided to give old fashion illustration a try. I’m not sure which is more charming, the pictures of the process or the actual drawings themselves.


dragon tail

calligraphy with colonial ink

calligraphy dragon


red ink

as and bs 2


{ 1 comment }

silver lake, ut

by Justine on August 26, 2014

in life/family,my photography

silverlake textures

Scenes from our recent trip with the cousins at Silver Lake in Utah. Beautiful country!

utah quakies mountain quakies

brightonBrighton ski resort

carved quakiescarved quakies

cousins Twin Lake Utahcousins in Twin Lake

mountain wildflower bouquetmountain wildflower bouquet

solvi twighlight marshSolvi in the twilight marsh

sunset cousinssunset cousins

early morning boardwalkearly morning boardwalk walk in search of moose (Saw 3 later that day!)

silverlake boardwalkSilver Lake marsh and boardwalk

log climberslog climbers

silverlake morningSilver Lake morning light

purple mountain flowerpurple mountain flower

Laila ride 2flower princess catches a ride

silverlake reflectionSilver Lake reflection

flower fieldmountain flower field

peanut“Peanut” the ground squirrel

Oliver silverlake viewOliver and the Silver Lake view



As many of you know, our Cape Cod cottage was featured in Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home. Today, the sublime blog featured even more images and outtakes from the book, as part of their cottage week. Here are some of my favorites by New Zealand photographer Matthew Williams. See Remodelista for more.







chip off the ole block

by Justine on August 1, 2014

in flora,kids,my photography

Solvi's grass posie 2

I think this is the second (or is it the third?) time I’ve entitled a post about Solvi thus. She’s always watching, always taking in.

Yesterday Solvi picked the sweetest posie featuring, of course, grass. Excellent, expressive, delicate swaths of it. To these sweeping tendrils she added what for a six-year-old girl is the most restrained application of color: one purple spear of Veronica and a single pink phlox. She also selected, as an integral part of her arrangement, the accompanying rock. “You need to put this by the vase, Mom.”

See, chip off the ole block.

Solvi grass posie detail

Solvi's grass posie


Solvi grass posie detail 3


lavenders and grass

by Justine on July 19, 2014

in flora,my photography,Our Cottage

lavender and grass

more experiments with flowers and grass…

lavnder and grass

on my dining table with: lavender, Russian sage, Veronica, sweet pea, grape vine, grasses, and other weeds

lavender and grass 2

lavender and grass 3


dracus ingontacus

by Justine on July 16, 2014

in Cape Cod,kids,my photography,shells


While beaching it the other day, Oliver, Solvi and I spent a good hour conjuring a sea dragon from mussel shells, rocks, and seaweed. Then Oliver sketched the following characterization in the sand.

Dracus Ingontacus:
Enormous sea serpent, known for its friendly attitude and poisonous tail.
Most fearsome dragon in the ocean.”

dracus ingontacusIt looks small in pictures, but it was actually about 6 feet long.

dracus Ingontacus detail

dracus Ingontacus close up


pastimes of a faerie queen

by Justine on July 15, 2014

in Cape Cod,kids,my photography

Solvi Fairy

Those of us who are lucky
(or perhaps just really still)
may glimpse the faerie queen.

Amongst the flower bed,
a wee posie,
fortune conveyed by a tiny friend.

A quick smile,
(She has seen you too.)

Then with a flit,
she’s off again.
More wonders to behold.

Solvi Fairy 2

Solvi Fairy 3

Solvi fairy 1

Solvi Fairy4

Fairy posie

Fairy with posie

Solvi Fairy takes flight

Solvi Fairy flies away

bye Solvi Fairy


grass flowers

by Justine on June 27, 2014

in flora,my photography,Our Cottage

peony and grass

The more time I spend in my cottage the more “decorative objects” I take away. Am I getting more minimal? In a way, but really what I’m doing is leaving room for the ephemeral – cut flowers, which, week by week mark the progress of the season, reflect my changing mood.

So far this summer, all of my arrangements have included grass.

While partaking in a time-honored family tradition of harvesting fresh flowers preferably some of which are not your own, I ventured across the road to Gramma’s garden. It still hosts her favorite blooms, but since her death it has gone to seed a bit, allowing tall grasses to spring up amongst the plants. I liked the way they looked. So I included some in my arrangement.

To everyone else these weeds add texture, height, and “visual interest” to my bouquets. But to me, while the flowers remind me of Gramma’s life, the grass acknowledges her death. And for some reason that seems important right now.

hot pink roses and grass

dorothy perkins roses


feverfew detail

peony and grass detail

{ 1 comment }

razor clam pendant

by Justine on June 26, 2014

in DIY,my photography,shells

razor clam pendant

Remember Sheila’s “installation with razor clams” on her living room shelf? This week, I too got creative with these elongated shellfish, when, inspired by the porcelain works at Parma Lilac, I created a razor clam (or Atlantic Jackknife Clam to be more precise) lamp shade. See Gardenista for a complete tutorial.

razor clamsUncle Mon shows off the haul from one walk on the beach.

bleaching razor clams in the sunbleaching razor clams on the deck

bleaching razor clams, Justine Hand

making a razor clam lamp suppliessupplies for the lamp

drilling hole in shelldrilling

drilled razor clams

threading wirestringing

threading the razor clam shells

strung shells

Hammer and Heel lightthe base: a pendant from Hammers and Heels

finished razor clam lampmy finished lamp

razor clam lamp sade detail by Justine Hand

finished razor clam light Justine Hand


past, present

by Justine on June 6, 2014

in history,kids,my photography

Solvi Spy scopeDonned in their souvenirs from my recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg, the kids do their best imitation of Revolutionary-era children.

colonial style portrait

Solvi fan

Olie map

Olie map 2

Solvi fan 2

Olie scope

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