Yes, it is true we have found a home for our Pretty in Pink 4 Life bench and how befitting that it happened right before the universal day of Love, Valentine’s Day. It is truly a Love Story that was four months in the making.  Needless to say, we, along with Komen CT and countless others are overjoyed with this very happy ending; one that would absolutely never happened without the good friends of our Social Media Village.

A Sweetheart of a Valentine's Day gift!

 

As it happens we just celebrated our second anniversary on Twitter a week ago, having created our account February 13, 2009.  Simply typing that made me quite nostalgic and consequently I spent the last couple of hours attempting to locate my fist tweet. While I have not been able to locate either my first tweet or the first people I followed, I can remember how overwhelmed I felt at the prospect of engaging in any form of Social Media.  I was so overcome with fear that after the initial set up I did nothing with our Twitter account for almost two weeks, until that fateful day when my then eighteen year-old son agreed to give me a Twitter tutorial; one which lasted all of sixty seconds. His fingers flew across my keyboard as he followed a couple of dozen people and said: “This is all you need to do ….and if you're lucky, they’ll follow you back”. And with that, he was gone leaving me in the driver’s seat without a single driving lesson.  So I began my journey, driving in the slow lane, hunting and pecking, following and re-tweeting, learning and engaging.

Our Social Media Birth

 

Virtual conversations turned into real life meetings and priceless friendships, and as a result, here we are two years later, immersed in a generous, collaborative community of like-minded, talented individuals who make wishes come true and help seemingly impossible dreams become life-changing realities.

 

From Virtual to Real Life 

Photo courtesy of Amy Dragoo of abcdesign.com

 

Off the Tweetdeck into the gallery

Yours Truly with Tamara Stephenson 

photo courtesy of Landino Photo

supporting friends at ICFF

Leslie Carothers, Me, Tracy Hiner, Maybelline Te

photo courtesy of Leslie carothers

And so it was for our beautiful Pretty in Pink 4 Life bench. We had been trying to find a home for it since mid-October and despite tweeting, blogging and facebooking our hearts out about it relentlessly, it remained homeless.

Valentine’s Day was quickly approaching and I was hoping to tap into the gift giving spirit.  I wrote another post about the bench and asked for help. I also emailed many of my SM friends asking them if they would include something about the bench in their posts about Valentine’s Day.  The result was better than I could have ever imagined and the bench has found a wonderful new home where it is cherished and loved.

It currently resides in the home of Philip Erdoes, aka @CEO_TheNewTrad, the CEO of the New Traditionalists, a design house focused on home furnishings and a client of Leslie Carothers the CEO and founder of The Kaleidoscope Partnership – a social media agency for the home furnishings and related industriesShe happened to share our blog post with Philip and as a result, he purchased the bench in honor of his three beautiful young daughters for Valentine’s Day.  And he did it because, as he said :”With three daughters I'm totally focused on that issue”.  And that says it all!

I cannot begin to thank the Social Media Village that made it possible…but I will try.

Many thanks to Marcy Michaud of @Stylesson for sharing our post on her site stylesson.com, Susan de Chaira of @the zhush for writing a lovely post on her blog, The Zhush, Amy Dragoo of @abcdesigns for featuring us on her guest post for @ChicModern, Wanda Horton (@wandashorton ) for her heartfelt post on her site Interior Concepts by Wanda S Horton and Yvonne Blacker (@yblacker) for asking us to be contributors in her fabulous new digital magazine New England Finery

Other good friends that helped make this happen by spreading the word include  @maybellinete @shorelychic @modenus @brivkind @averydesign @jgoden @swaygrl @nestnestnest @exuberanthome @annNyberg @DecoratingDiva @JuliskaDesigns @GimletMommy  and soo many more.

Our Social Media village is powerful and harnessing its power for business is wonderful, but using it to support lifesaving organizations like Komen for the Cure is beyond astounding.

Although this is indeed a VERY happy ending, it is not the end, but rather what we hope is the beginning of much collaboration, in support of Komen for the Cure.

 

 Happily ever after
photo courtesy of Philip Erdoes

 

 

 

Matters of the Heart: A Valentine's Day Wish

Irwin always reminds me that I don’t remember many things and… he is correct.  While he has a stellar, almost savant memory, I must admit that a good number of my brain cells have gone south over the years and as a consequence, I am always searching for something I have misplaced.

I have mislaid eyeglasses and keys, jewelry and checks, hats, gloves, food and just recently, Charlie, our dog. I unknowingly left him in the hallway overnight and had no idea he was missing until our doorman called us to say that he was sitting in front of an apartment on another floor.

Lost and Found

 

 

Charlie Should be too big to lose

 

While I have searched through my building’s recycling for a misplaced letter and the oven (YES the oven- it’s hereditary, unfortunately) for keys, I have never misplaced my feelings; I embrace them and wear them on my sleeve.

So while I must admit that I forgot the song we danced our first dance to at our wedding (and I will NEVER live that down), I have not forgotten the first Valentine’s Day gift Irwin gave me all those years ago, a gold lariat.  He will probably be surprised to read that I recall the gift because it was something we did not keep.  The truth is, he had ordered it through his aunt and had never seen it until it arrived in the mail that very day.  Although we sent it back because it was not what we expected, I kept the box and have it still.

Gift wrapped forever

 

Why am I sharing this?  Because over thirty years later I can still close my eyes and remember him handing me that small gift wrapped box.  I can still recall the excitement and anticipation I felt on that very first Valentine’s Day. The sensation is palpable.  It is that way with matters of the heart.  And while a small wrapped box always brings a smile to my face, I have learned that there are greater gifts to receive…and give.

This year my Valentine’s Day wish is simple: To find a home for our Pretty in Pink 4 Life Bench and to hand Komen CT a check for ALL the proceeds.  Our commitment to Komen for the Cure is deeply personal. It is for us, a matter of the heart. 

 

timeless Beauty in pink & chrome

 

with ALL proceeds to benefit Komen CT

 

every detail: Perfection

 

 

Each grid a celebration of life's triumphs

 

 

Giving someone you love a gift that keeps giving; a gift that has stood the test of time and is now stronger, more beautiful and vibrant than ever, is precious.

 

 

Matters of the heart are priceless

 

How perfect that this simple, elegant bench represents so much and so many.  And  Valentine’s Day, a celebration of life and love, reminding us that it is and will always be a matter of the heart, is priceless.

Happy Valentine’s Day

 

 

New Beginning: A Slowhome Lifestyle Inside and Out

As I emerge from the beauty, self-evaluation and repentance of the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, I am struck by the difficulty of the task that lies ahead of me and the enormity of work I have to do…on myself.  But like with many other aspects of life, this transformation is not simply a one-shot deal or quick fix, but rather a slow, deliberate attempt to make the necessary changes.

As we all learned in Psych 101, the first step in making any real change is the acknowledgment of the changes we need to make.  Although I am acutely aware of some of my shortcomings, self-reflection can be somewhat overwhelming; like looking at our reflection in a magnifying mirror under the harsh florescent lighting of a hotel bathroom.   Seeing things in this glaring light makes it more difficult to strike the appropriate balance and focus on our whole being.  The little blemishes in our persona seem exaggerated and we become so transfixed on looking at our shortcomings we neglect to acknowledge our accomplishments.

So how do we go about an inner redesign?  How do we untangle the intricate web we’ve spun? 

Tangled web

Well, I’ve decided to take a slow- home approach to my inner being, much the same as Irwin and I have adopted in our country lifestyle.  Rather than embarking on an extreme make-over, which would be much like throwing out the baby with the bathwater, or doing a home tear-down when only one room needs attention.  I am approaching my inner décor redesign slowly, with forethought and a definite plan. Segmenting that image I see in the mirror and tackling one section, “one room” at a time. 

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Segmenting the mirror

this particular one is our 20th century wagon wheel Mirror

 

I will make small changes, re-purposing where possible, then stepping back and evaluating before moving forward. While I know that any change can be difficult, I also know that less is often more and in order to create a sustainable inner core, I must let go of much of the clutter that I’ve accumulated over the past year. 

 

Much like the serenity prayer, my goal is to “accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference."  While I know there may be setbacks along the way, my direction will remain constant-moving forward slowly and deliberately learning and growing along the way.

Serenity

Wishing all of you a wonderful year filled with health, happiness & prosperity!

 

 

As the moon set I set the alarm for two am, yet by midnight I was still awake.  I could not shake the events of the past few days and I could not get this phrase out of my head: “More being, less doing.”

 

The moon setting over "our" mountain

 

It is no secret that we love our life in the country. We have managed to rebuild a slow home that we have furnished with vintage and mid century pieces and live an intentionally slower life that we fully embrace.  We even held off bringing internet into our home for over ten years, fearing that it might inhibit the quality of life we enjoy here.  I write about it all the time, the slower pace, the thoughtful lifestyle, paying attention to the little things, making memories, taking the time to smell thethe rebirth of spring, but never had the importance of this lifestyle become clearer to me than this past week.

I attended the memorial service of a friend’s sibling, an extraordinary individual who passed away too soon. Although the situation was tragic, the celebration of his being was stunning and I walked away wishing I had known him in life. His wife’s words resonated in my head as she reflected upon their life together, wishing that there were “more being and less doing”.

More Bee-ing

 

So simply stated, it was profound: More being, less doing. Which brings me back to Friday night.  Setting the alarm and getting up at 2am would probably have not been a priority two or three years ago.  I would have probably set the alarm with good intentions and then shut if off and gone back to sleep.  I now know better.  Given the finite amount of time we are privileged to be here and how quickly it flutters by, every day & every experience is a gift to be savored. The time spent “being” is why we do all the ”doing” in the first place.

Life Flutters by

 

Although I know that inherently, and write as well as talk about it, I often forget to do it.  My children remind me of this all the time and to be honest, I am not always the best at practicing what I preach, but I am going to try each and every day as I chant my new mantra: More being, less doing.

So, Irwin and I took a blanket outdoors after 2am and lay under several more as we faced the Northern sky awaiting a five thousand year old event that did not disappoint.  We spent over three hours gazing at the meteor shower and the enormity of the heavens; just being, not doing.

Perseid Meteor Shower

 

Make a Wish and....

With much anticipation and little fanfare, Irwin & I packed a bag or two, grabbed Charlie and headed for the hills last week to spend some much needed time in the country.  This is what we live for and we celebrate our good fortune every day that we are able to spend in our home surrounded by nature.

Of course, the first thing I did upon arrival was walk the property and check on our seasonal guests.  I was so excited to see the nest that had been built Memorial Day and had eggs hatched on the longest day of the year now housed a robust brood of six babies that were preparing to depart, leaving us as “Empty Nesters” once again.  The added pleasure of finding that a beautiful pair of cardinals had built a precious nest of birch bark in our beloved lilac bush almost sent me over the top.

Five of six of our latest brood

 

Our cardinal

 

the cardinal nest made with birch bark

 

From the beginning our house has attracted wildlife, a topic I have addressed in previous posts and am constantly in awe of.  Irwin and I often joke about how we have willed the arrival of our feathered and furry friends and perhaps we have.

It could be argued that our purchase of a painting of a large black dog, initiated the arrival of Charlie, our big black dog and the sketches of birds nests along with the glass eggs in nests displayed in our home have heralded the abundance of nests on our property.

the painting that heralded charlies arrival

 

The "man" Himself

 

sketches of nests

 

 

glass eggs in nests

 

One could further agree that a sketch of a raccoon, the only valuable gift left by the previous owner of our house, was single-handedly responsible for last summer’s Raccoon-Fest, and finally, the placement of the wooden bunny in our “Wish Basket” which to our utter shock and amazement, brought bunnies to our property.

our raccoon sketch

 

 

Our raccoon-Fest

 

 

our "wish basket"

 

our bunny

 

We believe that the universe will give you what you ask for if you put it out there so our wish basket is always on display in the den.  We keep the wooden bunny and Charlies broken collar in it at all times as a reminder of the enormous wishes we have been granted.

Now I’m not saying that we always get exactly what we wish for, I did NOT ask for a woodchuck, especially after last summer’s raccoon-fest and our sealing up all the openings under the porch, but nevertheless, Woody, as we’ve come to call him, not only resides on our patio in a gargantuan cave he has built, but has an extended family of baby woodchucks living under our porch.

Woody

 

woody's home

 

I’ve also put several small winning lottery tickets and handfuls of dollar bills in the basket and have yet to win Mega-Millions or Powerball but there is always the possibility.

So why not make a wish or two? Who’s to say how messages are communicated in the universe or how things are heard in the heavens?  What is important is that we put our message out because…you never know.

We just added our latest wish in the basket….I’ll keep you posted!

 

our latest wish is in the basket

 

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