Life + nepal + Spirit of Place / Monday, 13 Jun 2011

recounting birthdays past 2011

I’m back in Kathmandu after finishing our 9 day memorial to the ancestors of Namje Thumki. We had an inauguration celebration with the whole village on Saturday, which just happened to coincide with my birthday so I selfishly pretended the celebration was just for me. But rain gods, I could have done without you right at performance time. I never imagined I would travel to Nepal, but it seems to be the trend to spend my birthday away. So in the birthday tradition, here’s the updated list:

June 11, 2011: Namje, Nepal

June 11, 2010: Copenhagen, Denmark
June 11, 2009: Berlin, Germany
June 11, 2008: New York, NY
June 11, 2007: Washington, DC

June 11, 2006: Kensington, MD
June 11, 2005: San Clemente, CA
June 11, 2004: Curitiba, Brazil
June 11, 2003: Dana Point, CA
June 11, 2002: Venice, Italy

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In the Know + Life + paper + royal wedding / Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Portobello booths

I’m back in Copenhagen to find that spring has finally sprung! I’m writing from our terrace–completely useless in the winter but so beautiful in the nicer months–and finding that the apple tree and lilacs are reaching full bloom. I must describe the royal wedding weekend as a nothing short of beautiful. The wedding itself was perfection with beautiful words spoken, amazing music, and a great collective spirit in the air. Though I’ve been to London a couple of times, I never quite saw the beauty I saw this weekend. The people were charming, the weather was surprisingly bright and cheery and I loved being spoken to in English. I have tons more photos from the trip but today I’ll highlight our booths at Portobello. After the ceremony on Friday we took our bags over to our booth in front of HSBC on Portobello Road. After setting up, Lorianne and I left our brave husbands to sell while we attended a high tea to celebrate, of course wearing my hat (pic 8) the whole time. The next day we had our booth in the arts and crafts section and met an amazing bunch of excited tourists in town just for the wedding. I’m amazed at the number of people who flew in just for the event…oh wait, that includes me. But really, tons Americans and Australians in just for the weekend. I had brought paper with me to make large paper flowers for the booth and my head. I used the ombre tablecloth that I had made for Oh Happy Day
Our poor husbands selling while we attended high tea:
Lorianne, fearless promoter of Lars souvenirs
I had to take a picture of this girl’s ladybug dress. 
We got around with huge bags on our backs and roller suitcases. And by “we” I mean the boys.
Wisteria at Portobello. Sigh.

More to come…

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royal wedding + Style / Friday, 29 Apr 2011

Royal supporters sport fun hats for the wedding

This will be short and sweet. This royal wedding thing is uh-mazing. Did you LOVE it? I will have so much more to say in another post, but look at this! All you have to do to get your 15 minutes is make yourself a paper flower hat. Badda bing, badda boom! We made it onto CNN, Vogue (and Paul too) and I interviewed with the Telegraph but I’m not finding it anywhere. More Portobello tomorrow. Come find us in the Arts and Crafts section.

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Life + royal wedding / Tuesday, 26 Apr 2011

Royal Wedding processional map GIVEAWAY!

Good morning! The wedding is 3 days away and I have to say that I think I’m more nervous for this one than I was for mine 7 months ago. There’s so much to do for our Portobello Booth like a sign, biz cards, floral hat, floral tie, blah, blah, blah. It’s going to be amazing. I hope you can come! The post office is finally open (after 3 days off…wha?) so I can finally get some orders out to some die hard royal wedding fans. 
ANYWHOO, with that in mind I’d like announce a giveaway of one of our royal wedding processional map prints. We teamed up with Rowley Press to produce a beautiful letterpress and giclee 11×17″ print. If you recall, I did my wedding invitations with him in the same manner so it was a very natural fit. We are so excited to have these prints for you after we received several requests. To enter the contest, please write a comment below saying why you’re excited for the royal wedding and a winner will be chosen on the day of the wedding, Friday April 29th at midnight. Good luck! Check out our full collection of royal wedding souvenirs here.
Also, forgot to mention that the article in Toronto’s Globe and Mail came out on Saturday. We’re feature in their list of best products for the royal wedding and in their article. So very kind of them. Check it out here. And thanks to a myriad of other blogs who I just love like This is Glamorous, Me Old China, Matchbook Magazine, Hello Lucky, 3 Peas, Urban Mums, Marry You Me, Bricolage and Butter, and Curated by Color. We’re honored! 

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In the Know + Life / Monday, 25 Apr 2011

Briana Blackwelder: A celebration of life

It is with a heavy heart that I say good-bye to my dear friend, Briana Blackwelder. She was killed in a car accident on Saturday in Utah while heading to California for Easter Sunday to be with her family. I’ve known Briana since middle school days, but it wasn’t until last year that we really developed our friendship. It was one of those friendships that I was excited to see progress and though I’m now far away in Denmark, I knew we would keep up and that it would be good.

You see, Briana was a midwife. I didn’t even know midwives still existed until I found out she was going to midwifery school years ago. You might understand my ignorance considering my great great great grandmother, Patti Sessions, was a midwife who delivered babies on the pioneer trek. I assumed it was a 19th century thing. However, Briana built her practice and was darn good at it. In many cases, I don’t think a career necessarily defines one’s identity, but in the case of Briana it was an excellent representation of who she was. I could tell that her motherly instincts provided calmness and reassurance to her patients. When she spoke to you, she pierced your heart and soul. She is a natural caregiver, supportive and giving.

When I was preparing to get married to Paul last year, Briana called me up and said she was in town for a birth. So we got some lunch by her parents house in and had a delightful afternoon catching up. It turned into a pre-marital lesson for me where I pretty much pestered her with curiosities and she was thorough, thoughtful, informative, and so present. Though I’m far from having a baby, I’ve been trying to figure out a way that Briana could be in my life when Paul and I do decide for that day to come. I thought maybe we could be in Utah for 9 months, or maybe she wouldn’t mind moving to Denmark for a bit (a girl can wish). In fact, the day she passed on I was thinking about her and thinking of the logistics of getting her over here. I think there’s a reason why certain thoughts are placed in your head at certain times.

I’m heartbroken and shocked, but I couldn’t be more grateful that this occurred around Easter when we celebrate how Christ gave his life to us so that we might live again. I know Briana is in a good place with a loving Father and I know we will see her again. Death is not the end. She lives. My thoughts and prayers are with her dear family, especially her brother Ian who was also in the car and suffered a broken clavicle and scratches. They will be having celebration services (not funerals!) on Wednesday at 7pm at 951 East 100 South in Salt Lake City and on her birthday, May 6, in California.

Here’s a bit more on the accident. And what I read to commemorate. And what I watched.

The lovely photos above are by Alisha Stamper on the right and Carolee Beckham on the left. Such beauty. Thank you for taking these shots.

I love you Briana.

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