Wednesday, November 28, 2012

boots + books

When I first moved into my apartment, these 3 little steps were among the first things I set up. The plants were beautiful and green, the books were too big to fit on the built-in bookshelves, and my cowboy boots (my first Christmas gift ever from my boyfriend and my most prized possession; I wear them literally every single day to school) could not find a good steady home in my closet. 

[The glasses were purchased for about 2 cents on the side of the road in India; I sometimes wear them. They're bifocals, in case you were wondering.]

So, I plopped them all on my 3 stairs and they lived there pleasantly as reminders of things I love (books, plants, boots, nerd glasses) and as homes for much-used and hard-to-house objects.
NOW, in preparation for my first ever Christmas tree (more on that later), I had to clear those steps. I moved things all around, up and down, in different corners... and subconsciously, the boots and books still ended up together. I didn't notice this until I was flipping through old pictures and found the one above. 

Boots and books in their new home.

[remember this bench from when I went shopping??]

I am taking this all as a sign, and the boots and books will always live together, for as long as I can help it. 

p.s. - The Indian glasses didn't make it on top of the stack of books this time because I'm currently wearing them.

[all photos and content by ann howell brown, 2012]

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

made me laugh

The Owner Of This Vehicle

[from buzzfeed]

thanksgiving eats

this year i am thankful for: 
family + friends
(in particular, aunts who are fantastic chefs and cocktail mixers)
health + happiness
gainful employment
kale and roasted root vegetable salad (with dijon vinaigrette)
sweet potatoes with sage, pistachios, and goat cheese
peppery bloody marys
live versions
the beach
the sun, moon, and stars
pictures like this one
the great state of north carolina
videos like this one
...and a thousand other things. :) 

photos by ann howell brown, 2012

my favorite place

this side table beside my sofa. 

i think i love this space because everything on it comes from all over the world and from different parts of my life, but is still woven together by my absolute favorite ocean-deep shades of blue.
(the color of calm!)

lamp: from my mother's childhood

 teacup: picked up and toted around painstakingly while traveling in india

 spice tin + blue ink bottle: from a thrift shop in rural north carolina

 swedish ivy: grown and sold by one of my students as a fundraiser for a school program

and of course, the side table itself -- thrown on the side of the road and saved by my mother's keen eye for hidden treasure.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


most imaginative word added by a fourth-grader to our "opinion adjectives" list: 


grow yo' brain


this is the place where brains are grown. 
where the work is hard, because that means your brain is growing. 
where you make mistakes and then fix them, because that's learning.

where it doesn't matter if you can't read the same books and solve the same problems that your classmates can, yet, because you can still work harder and get better. 

every. single. day.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

my favorite place

on a tuesday night, before a half-day-wednesday before a Thanksgiving-thursday, this is my favorite place in the whole world. especially since it's 8:30 and all my work is done.


Monday, November 19, 2012

the creative process: star

usual hodge-podge of papers, complete with hand-written lesson plan drafts underneath. multi-tasking!
using pen and ink to scratch out my black-and-white stripes by hand...

recycled grocery bags, watercolor paper, acrylic paints (including the best paint color name ever -- diva pink), old book pages, glitter, yes! paste, pen and ink.

this post was fueled by this song and that song.

all photos and content by ann howell brown, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

the creative process: diamonds in ink

vintage books, washi tape, watercolor paper, acrylic, pen and ink.

all photographs and content by ann howell brown, 2012