DIY linen napkins

diy linen napkins // a thousand threads
Linen napkins – especially washed linen like these – are my very favorite. They’re just one little element, but they can have such a big impact on a table. So when we decided to plan three Field + Foundry dinners this fall, I knew we had to have them.

There’s just one problem – everybody else likes them too, which means they can be crazy expensive.

Luckily, thanks to my 4-H days, I knew I could at least turn on and operate a sewing machine — even if I wasn’t so sure I could sew in a straight line (I’m still not) — so I dusted the old guy off and went to work.

With just a few yards of linen (around $100) I was able to whip up 30 custom napkins. And straight lines or no, if we hadn’t told folks they were handmade they might never have known.

Follow along below for instructions on how to make your own…

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52 dates // 33

52 dates // a thousand threads
The date // A trip to the driving range.

I always love those stories where they ask successful people about their summer jobs. The answers are all over the place — giant chickens, corn shuckers, roller-skating sperm.

Once upon a time, in a land far from here, I spent my summers as a caddy. Trudging along in the warm summer sun, carrying bags as big as myself, watching Happy Gilmore at least a thousand times while I waited around in the caddyshack (also Caddyshack).

It was a really well-paying job for a high school kid, and how can you complain when your work involves spending the whole summer outside?

The only problem is that after just a few summers spent caddying, I will be forever cursed with a completely terrible, awful, inability to play love of golf. Luckily, Mark is also terrible loves it too, so we try to get out and golf as much as we can to try to improve our awful game because we love it so much.

So this weekend we pulled out our dusty clubs, dusted off our creaky, lazy shoulders, and even managed to hit one or two balls where we meant to.

Do you play? And did you have a summer job as a kid? I’d love to hear all about it!

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One more week

// a beautiful profile of amanda jane jones, a cowhide clutch, calligraphy lessons, and cantaloupe ginger ice cream
This time next week, we’ll be in Dublin. Meaning two things: 1 // I’m basically useless at this point and 2 // my to-do list is longer than ever.

Thank goodness for weekends and the time to catch up!

… hope you’re having a good one so far!

/////

Eye this beautiful profile of Amanda Jane Jones in Mother Mag.

Buy this amazing cowhide clutch.

Make some prettier mail with these calligraphy tips.

Bake this insanely good-sounding salted cantaloupe & ginger ice cream.

/////

Apparently when scientists put a loud ticking clock next to your ear hole, all your standards go out the window in favor of babies. Babies now.

Chocolate legos!

Everything about this made me laugh out loud.

A few good photography tips.

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How to take a super professional headshot for your super serious job

// how to take a super professional headshot for your super serious job // a thousand threads
A recent invitation to speak made it all too clear that my professional headshot was starting to look a little worse for wear. So Mark and I pulled out the camera, and now my professional Twitter and LinkedIn pages are all shiny and new.

But the process wasn’t easy, so I thought I’d share a little bit a tutorial here. Read on to see how we pulled it off…

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Rosemary peppercorn simple syrup

rosemary peppercorn simple syrup // a thousand threads
Considering the little rosemary rampage we’ve been on lately, you’d think we just discovered the stuff. And in some ways, I guess we did.

Poor rosemary usually gets a bad wrap in my house. Not because it’s not incredible (it so is) but because it’s an herb that no matter how hard I try, I can’t help but associate with Thanksgiving turkey. Rosemary and sage (thyme usually escapes by the skin of its teeth) conjure up images of cozy nights by the fire with full bellies and warm hearts, with Santa just around the bend… all of which, of course, I look forward to all year. But not nearly as much as I look forward to summer.

Needless to say, in the middle of August, when the thought of the oncoming winter makes me want to pull a Thelma & Louise and hurl myself off a cliff, I just can’t bring myself to look that pretty little sprig in the face. Until now.

A few weeks ago, with a big pile of blueberries and an even bigger pile of blackberries in hand, somehow Mark and I found ourselves throwing those gorgeous green leaves into a sweet summer pie, and the result was one of our favorites we’ve come up with so far.

It was all downhill from there, of course: rosemary bread, black & blue rosemary pie, and now this delicious rosemary peppercorn simple syrup. But I promise if you try this stuff the next time you go to mix up a drink, you won’t mind at all.

Even more importantly, it won’t make you think of anything but the gorgeous summer sun.

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Show your strength // #BewareofAngels + Being a woman today

// a thousand threads
What does it mean to be a woman today? That’s a question I’ve been struggling with since I was given the chance to collaborate with Thierry Mugler Angel on their #BewareofAngels campaign. Past campaigns have focused on women’s strength and fellowship in a way I deeply respect, so I want to do justice to the question. But where do I begin?

Being a woman today means being a little bit of everything, and a little bit of anything you like. In many ways, we are more confident and able than ever, with the ability to choose our own future, define our desires, and own our intentions. In other ways, we still find ourselves caught between our past and future selves.

The transformation from just our grandmothers’ generation, some of the first to be born into an America where women were allowed to vote, to our own is almost beyond comprehension. To think that such a metamorphosis has taken place in such a short time, it’s no wonder we sometimes struggle with our own perception of what it means to succeed as a woman today.

I won’t lie, I struggle with blogging a lot… with why we do it and what we have to contribute to the world. I believe in my soul that what we have to give is valuable. I also believe that this is hard work. It takes talent to be a successful blogger (and sometimes years of work to develop that talent.) But many women bloggers, especially those who’ve chosen to be stay at home – or work at home – moms, still face harsh criticism from those who feel they might be doing some sort of injustice to the feminist cause. Or worse, marrying for money and having babies for pageviews. Living meaningless lives on nothing more than rainbows and hugs.

But would you say the same to a professional photographer, writer, or designer?

Meaning is, in many ways, ambiguous. We find meaning in helping others, but we also find meaning in our passions and our pursuits.

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52 dates // 32

52 dates // a thousand threads
The date // A walk around downtown Frederick.
The treat // A stop at Frederick Coffee Co. before heading home.

After a long day of baking, staring longingly at the gorgeous summer sun, this Saturday we were searching for any way to get outside, and a walk around Frederick seemed like the perfect excuse to indulge our exhaustion with a little caffeine.

We wandered around downtown (which is — and I say this with no bias at all — the best place ever), past the shops and along the canal, and then settled into a nook at Frederick Coffee Co. that I easily could’ve stayed in all night.

These days, Saturday evenings are for nothing if not a little time to relax, and this was the perfect evening, the perfect place, and the perfect company to do just that.

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Thank you Friday, thank you all

// a thousand threads
Thank you so much for all of your support on my last post. Mark and I are truly lucky to have the support that we do, both at home and online.

In the end I really do know this is going to work out, and I hope it’s even for the best. But I want you all to know just how grateful we are that you’re there.

Thank you, always, but now more than ever. I hope you all have an amazing weekend!

P.S. I have been looooving your travel recommendations, so many great new discoveries!! Do you use WorldMate? I’m kind of in love.

P.P.S. Did you see our event on Trouvé? I’m so excited to see so many wonderful recaps of Field + Foundry. Don’t miss Christine’s and Sydney’s, in addition to those I shared before.

And check out our sourdough starter on West Elm!

/////

Eye this gorgeous Hotel Lobby transformation.

Buy this great coat rack.

Make this diy wooden sign.

Bake this peach, hazelnut, and shiso crisp (with ginger ice cream omg).

/////

Patience is key.

These shoes.

These great vintage fonts.

Don’t aim to inspire.

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Mark’s nain’s zucchini bread

mark's nain's zucchini bread // a thousand threads
Food can be a lot of things. A memory, a philosophy, a sweater when you’re out in the cold. A meal can be eloquent when there are no words, which is good because for the past week, I’ve found I have few.

We came back early last Sunday, crawling into bed in the wee hours of the morning, exhausted but still buzzing from the amazing weekend we’d had.

About three hours later, Mark went off to work like he always does, and about three hours after that, he called to ask me to come pick him up.

The company had been having a worse year than expected. We knew this, but we’d also been reassured, time and again, that we shouldn’t worry. Any changes that were made wouldn’t affect us. Until they did.

Mark was the last in and, true to the phrase, the first out. We didn’t see it coming at all.

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20 Comments | |

Newport Folk Fest // 2014

newport folk fest 2014 // a thousand threads
I might’ve suspected it before, but a second trip confirmed beyond a doubt that Newport Folk Fest is a world unto itself. One where the memory of Pete Seeger hangs heavy on the hearts of all music-loving attendees there searching for a little bit of that same spirit and light. One where artists come to each others’ shows, and mingle in the crowd without incident. And one where the spirit of folk is raised to new heights, to a significance that embodies not just a genre, but an ethos.

I was raised on music. As a kid my dad would call me upstairs and turn on the tv, or the record player, and tell me all about the band I heard or saw. From The Wall to Jethro Tull to The Rolling Stones and The Beatles.

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