end of isolation

bug in paper lantern

For the past two weeks it’s just been Daniel and me. And it’s nice to spend time together – to work and read and relax in the same room for hours on end – but almost everyone else left town and you kind of feel like you’re holed up in a room the size of Charlottesville with nothing to do and only your second half to talk to (which may really just be yourself).

Last night we broke the fast from socialization with a potluck dinner. I sat on a couch squished between two people, leaning forward to take in the conversation, and felt grateful – and lucky – to be a small part of such an interesting, dynamic, funny, and thoughtful group. The isolation was worth it for the chance to realize that.

That being said, the past few weeks have helped me think through and intensify my goals:

  • I’m eating (a little bit) healthier, eating in more, and saving money.
  • I’m taking more walks.
  • I’m considering delving back into the world of portrait photography (I’m offering free photo sessions in the Charlottesville area).
  • The advertisements I put out for my store are slowly but surely bringing in new customers and I’m staying on top of bookkeeping.
  • My fair trade blog venture is bringing me great satisfaction.
  • I’m in the process of working with Fair Trade Towns USA to approve the city of Charlottesville for their Fair Trade directory.

How do you work through periods of isolation? How are you achieving your short and long term goals?

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home tour: The Dining Room

I finally finished the dining room decor and layout this afternoon. We had makeshift curtains up for the past month and a half, but they weren’t working for me. I lightened a queen-sized tapestry we already owned, then cut it into curtains. I was hesitant to go with the yellow-beige tone in the main room, but it seems I can’t stray far from a retro ’60s/’70s vibe; I guess the house has inspired me.

We’ve been making due with only one lamp in the living/dining area, but when night fell, I couldn’t really see anything while working at my computer from the table. I needed something extremely economical that wouldn’t look too tacky. When World Market sent me a 15% off coupon for my birthday, I decided on a paper lantern. Of course, whenever we settle into a real house someday, we’ll find something more permanent, but this works well for the time being.

Moose carving from antique store, frame made by Indiana artisan, thrifted owl print

We happened upon this Sally Gregory piece from the 1970s at an antique store in Ruckersville about a month ago. Since we knew nothing about the artist, we decided to do some research before purchasing the piece. It turns out that she was best known for her children’s book illustrations; pieces like this rarely ended up in the U.S. since she was known, for the most part, only throughout Britain. I was overjoyed when I walked into the store this morning and found it right where we saw it last! Each section represents a season of the year. The women are bedecked in pretty, flowing garments and the curving black stems and branches recall the style of art nouveau, which is what drew me to the piece initially.

Rose scented candle, ceramic dish handmade by my sister