Sunday, July 31, 2011

it's in the cards

My friend Diane gave me a box of these wonderful cards and now I'm going to turn around and mail one right back to her because she's the definition of marvelous. Of course I turned them right over to see who the designer was, which led me to this adorable blog. Before I knew it, I'd fallen down a rabbit hole of ideas and inspiration. Gratitude, appreciation, creativity, love. What more could a person ever need?

Friday, July 29, 2011

little shop of creativity

We moved offices today and while ours doesn't (yet!) look like this picturesque workspace out of West Elm, it is shaping up to be fresh, creative, inspiring, uplifting, vibrant, perfect. For nearly two years, StewartMarr has been tucked away in a savvy and elegant architecture firm that we never wanted to leave. But the building was sold last spring so Arkon and I half-heartedly set out to find new digs. I'm happy to report that this has truly been a case of one door closing and another, this one with a cheery yellow awning over it, opening. It's a small brick building with our own entrance and a tiny patio. Best of all, it's situated along Charlotte's Little Sugar Creek Greenway and, on a cool autumn day, will be just a short bike ride from home. Things could not have worked out better.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

memories in the key of life

A girl always remembers her first love. Mine has been immortalized in a new postage stamp series along with 11 other iconic products of American industrial design. Sometimes I pine for the clickety clack soundtrack of that IBM Selectric, the pile of onion skin paper next to it and the exuberant feeling that life was a juicy novel yet to be typed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

on a wing and a prayer

Walking through the Wright Brothers Memorial last week in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, I marveled at the intelligence, perseverance and daring of Wilbur and Orville. Before that historic first flight in 1903, the brothers had to solve three major problems: lift, power and control. While theirs was an engineering and physics conundrum, it occurred to me that the same variables apply to so many other feats that we attempt in life. Things like love and friendship, parenthood, careers, callings, creativity. It's good to not only know what lifts us up, but to be willing to be lifted. We need to acknowledge our own power, yet rest in the Power, capital P, that passeth understanding. And be able to roll with things that can't, or needn't, be controlled. If we can manage to do these things, then we may truly know what it feels like to soar.

Friday, July 8, 2011


You probably can't tell that it's actually a ring, but this butterfly fluttered right out of Nordstrom's and onto my hand last winter when Mike got it for me as a Valentine present. It seemed silly to have developed a crush on butterflies all of a sudden at age 49, but then I read that they are a symbol of transition and change. Things a person floats through continually in life but which seem especially poignant at middle age. Also lightness, celebration and soul. So if you come across a woman who seems to have had a butterfly alight on her hand, that would be me, just trying to make my way toward the sunshine and the hollyhocks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


After hearing an interview with Suzanne Marrs, Millsaps College professor and Eudora Welty scholar, on the Diane Rehm show, I know I will have to get this book and get lost in the correspondence between one of my favorite icons/writers/women/individuals and one of her closest friends.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Guests still toss birdseed and flower petals at afternoon weddings, but a friend told me that a new trend is for the bride and groom to leave an evening reception in a blaze of sparkler glow. How fun and festive is that! Here's to things that sparkle, twinkle, glitter and glow. From Dad's eyes to the little white lights in a restaurant courtyard, to fireflies, fireworks, sequins, gold bangles, silver sandals, votive candles, cut crystal and colorful Japanese paper lanterns hanging from the porch. Happy Fourth of July!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

sunny days

Say you're driving along a country road on a July morning. Could be in South Carolina or the south of France. Round a curve and there it is: a huge field of sunflowers. As vivid as a van Gogh painting. Happiness is like that. Cultivate it like you would a friendship or a hobby or an acre of sunflowers. It'll grow on you.
(from The Little Guide To Happy ©StewartMarr. Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh, 1887)

Friday, July 1, 2011

la dolce day

When planning a perfect summer day, you can never go wrong by asking "what would an Italian do?" There would be a delicious seasonal treat like figs, maybe even wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with honey. There'd be a sweet dog following at your heels, a good book to read, fresh flowers on the foyer table. And, always, an iced coffee in the late afternoon.
(click on image to enlarge)