Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Afternoon Weather

Taken on my drive home from school... life is good, especially when you're living under a Carolina blue sky. :)

[All photos and content by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Creative Process [3 Mini Peeks!]

I have three very distinctive, wonderful projects going on right now... and none of them is finished. I keep seeing new things, re-working colors, adding splashes here and texture there, and I'm quite excited (and anxious!) for them to finally come together!

[All photos and content by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]

Weekend Favorites [Snow + Sunshine + Matisse]

Woke up with this #sunrise — and today is supposed to be a #snowday ?!?! #nofilter

Friday morning pre-snow sunrise...

Sunday brunch with Mimi :) (at Foster’s Market)

Sunday brunch (with coffee and lipstick) at Foster's Market with my grandmother...

Sunlight + shadows (at Nasher Museum of Art)

Natural light (at Nasher Museum of Art)

Sunlight, shadows, and Henri Matisse at the Nasher Museum of Art -- sadly, no photos allowed inside (and those security guards see EVERYTHING, like Santa's Elves)...

Another 2-hour delay = my grandmother’s sticky buns + honey tangerine juice for breakfast #snowday

Long breakfast (thanks to a 2-hour weather delay) with my grandmother's sticky buns and honey tangerine juice...

Also thought this article was exciting and encouraging -- about students being social entrepreneurs, and UNC - Chapel Hill incubating them.

[All photos and content by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tea Party for One

One of the best, most thoughtful gifts I've ever received -- membership in a TEA CLUB. Did you even know such a thing existed?? Subscribers receive monthly shipments of tea in their mailboxes, and get to try new pairings and tastings and sippings and enjoy-ings. 

My first shipment arrived this weekend, and I love it. 

The first one I tried was the Yu Lu Yan Cha black tea, which was divine.  I added sugar, because I'm from the South and like my black tea SWEET. 

Tea cup from India; napkin from an antiques shop. 

More info on Verdant Tea and tea club membership here, if you're interested. The company is really neat, and I love seeing people who find a way to spread what they're passionate and joyful about to the rest of the world. :)

[All photos and content by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]

[Long] Weekend Favorites

The most delicious grilled shrimp and scallop skewers with sun-dried tomato pesto EVER.

Sparkly presents with pink polka-dotted wrapping paper. 

MLK Jr. Monday = no school/morning in a coffee shop

Gorgeous rustic wood bar in said coffee shop.

First time trying Meyer lemons, which turned into the MOST DELICIOUS SALAD DRESSING EVER. I may or may not have eaten spoonfuls of it straight up. 

[PS - making this later.]

New favorite dessert discovery: crystallized ginger.

Awesome words spotted on the floor of Whole Foods.

Did you discover anything new this [long] weekend? Cheers to a four day week! :)

[All photos and content by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - 2013

The Kings at Home

Born in Atlanta, Martin Luther King, Jr. and his new wife Coretta moved to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 after King accepted a position as pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church.

I've always loved these rare photos from TIME Magazine of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his family, because they remind me that people who do extraordinary things are usually completely ordinary people.


King explained in an interview that this photograph was taken as he tried to explain to his daughter Yolanda why she could not go to Funtown, a whites-only amusement park in Atlanta.

"One of the most painful experiences I have ever faced was to see her tears when I told her Funtown was closed to colored children, for I realized the first dark cloud of inferiority had floated into her little mental sky."

Tense Moment

In this photograph, Coretta is upset with her husband, who had been attacked the night before by a disturbed white racist but had not defended himself. Though the police urged King to press charges, he refused.

After being violently attacked by a young, white racist and urged by the police (and his wife, Coretta) to press charges, King replied:

"The system we live under creates people such as this youth. I'm not interested in pressing charges. I'm interested in changing the kind of system that produces such men." 

When I read words like these, that are so incredibly strong and convicted even to the point of accepting violence against himself and his family, everything about MLK Jr. starts seeming larger than life, or ethereal, or kind of mystically great. What ordinary person would be able to sustain such beliefs about nonviolence when his own life, and the lives of his innocent children, are threatened?

However, when I see such intimate, everyday photos of the King family, I am reminded that truly extraordinary people are often quite ordinary and human. It makes me think -- what am I doing, as an ordinary person, to change the system?

I hope you enjoy your Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, and I hope you are inspired by King's words and pictures from his life as much as I am. :)

[All photos and information from TIME Magazine.]

Friday, January 18, 2013

Sunshine + Happy Snow Day to Me + Sneak Peek


Ever since January started, it seems like it's been nothing but clouds, rain and dreariness. So how ironic that on the morning of a glorious two-hour delay due to snow and bad weather, I wake up to the brightest sunshine (probably ever) in my apartment. 

The snow day sunshine even made my paperwhites start blooming! I was a little worried yesterday because they were droopy, probably because I forgot to water them (this is why succulents, air plants, and/or cacti are typically the best type of plant for me)... but they appear to be cured now. 

I also stayed up late designing and playing with letters for a new art piece... It's still in the developmental phases, but here are two clues:
1.) It's about fire.
2.) If you're a Tar Heel, this art will pull at your heartstrings.

Stay tuned for more updates, and as always, more photos here. Happy Friday!

[All photos and content above by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]

PS: This made me laugh. Photo from Facebook.

Truth. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

MONIQUE GOES [and gets a manicure].

Monique gets a manicure #vwlove #moniquegoes

After a long, tiring day of thrifting, Monique gets a manicure.

#MoniqueGoes #vwlove #beepbeep

[All photos and content by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]

Ann Howell Goes Shopping: Part 2

One of the perks of living in a small rural town is the abundance of thrift and antique shops, especially ones that are often "under the radar" and less-frequented. This usually means more unique treasures, and I've scored some pretty amazing finds (you can read more about my previous shopping trips here!)

So, faced with a rainy, dreary weekend, I went thrifting. Here's what I purchased:

An awesome old wooden pepsi crate. I love the faded paint and block letters...

I'm thinking this will hold all my various jars of paint brushes, pencils, ink pens, markers, etc. (and maybe keep them from getting knocked over so often).

A Quality American Snuff jar!!!!!!!! I loved the solid, heavy feel of the glass jar, and the fact that it had a lid. Still debating what to store in this... ideas?

LOTS of solid wood frames in various shapes and sizes (this was actually the goal of this thrifting trip -- to find frames for some exciting new art pieces! Stay tuned for shop updates later this week:) I found some neat square-shape frames, and I'm excited to see how they fit in to my art, since I typically work with rectangular bases and frames.

Here's what I saw, but DIDN'T buy:


A stunning chandelier. Sigh... one day...

Vintage Italian painted box… #thrifting

Painted vintage Italian boxes.

Sparkly vintage purse #thrifting

Sparkly sequined party purse.

Framed hairy dog with blue bows portrait. That thing was like $229!!!!!!!!!!

I'm curious -- what's your take on thrifting? Does the prospect of sifting through old things of varying quality and states of disrepair seem time-consuming and daunting, or is this the one and only way to shop for treasures?

As always, more photos on Tumblr and Instagram, if you're curious. :)

[All photos and content by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]

Thursday, January 10, 2013

THURSDAY NIGHT: Who! What! When! Where! Why? [+ a new site]

Love these guys! #clothbirds #myfriends #nofilter

WHO: me and my little bird friends

Ribollita and cheddar-rosemary scones for dinner #soupnight

WHAT/WHEN: soup with cheddar rosemary scones for dinner

Eucalyptus branches, potted succulent, and tea lights

WHERE: this table

i m a g i n e d.

WHY: so I can show you this site

I've been playing around with a Tumblr as a way to share more photos with people, and I LOVE IT. You can see my Tumblr here, if you catch a craving for some imagine-spiration in between regular blog posts! 

[All photos and content by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Creative Process: LET IT SHINE

"Let It Shine" is now on Etsy! Visit my shop here, if you'd like, and take a peek at more photos below... :)

[All photos and content by Ann Howell Brown, 2013]