Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas cookies

It's that time of year, and earlier this week I baked chocolate crinkles from a recipe a friend of mine shared with me. Every year she digs into the cookie issue of Bon Appetit (it used to be put out by Gourmet), and tries all sorts of creations. This year I stuck with the basics, but boy, are they good.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wrapped and ready for the tree

If you order a JAKE & META 2012 "Year in Bloom" mini desktop calendar and would like to have it wrapped and sent with a gift tag, just let me know! And if you order by Wed, it can still arrive by Saturday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Look who I met last night: a reindeer! I had never seen one live before. Isn't he great with his handsome head rack? Seems there are several varieties of reindeer; I'm not sure which one he is, but he was very friendly. Christmas is definitely upon us!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Congress Park Christmas trees

I love this time of year with everyone decorating their porches and storefronts, and in this case the park. Plus, the moon (in the upper right corner) is almost full!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cary Academy Holiday Shoppe booth

Here's our booth from the Cary Academy Holiday Shoppe last week (manned by a friend of mine). We had such a fantastic time! People seemed to love our 2012 Year in Bloom mini calendar. Additionally, we had the good fortune of being placed next to Tonya's and she was giving out delicious cookie samples the whole time. A special thank you to the vendor co-chairs Carole and Diana who made the show a success.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cary Academy Holiday Shoppe

This week we have a booth at the annual Cary Academy Holiday Shoppe! If you're in the area, please stop by. Proceeds benefit the Cary Academy scholarship fund and community outreach. All JAKE & META selections will be available, and even some not on our site yet. Happy holidays!

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I hope everyone had a delicious, fulfilling, and happy Thanksgiving! Our dinner incorporated all of our traditions EXCEPT for my mom's watermelon rind pickles. Maybe next summer I'll venture to make some of my own. But this year's pecan pie might be the best I've ever made. I even had some for breakfast this morning, with whipped cream, of course!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunlight on yellow leaves

Look how beautiful the leaves on this tree look with the sunlight almost shining through them. They caught my eye immediately, and the crisp, blue sky made them that much more arresting as they stood out against the evergreens. This is why I love fall.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rain on the lake

Today was sort of a dreary day, starting with fog and then turning into rain. I like days like these. This shot is of Gibson Pond in Maryland; don't know whether you can see the raindrops on the water. Very serene looking to me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Heirloom tomatoes

I know we're past tomato season, but don't these heirlooms from the farmers' market look fabulous? All the different shapes, and the vibrant colors. One time I bought one each of several different ones and then had them all sliced and out on a platter so that I could do a taste test. I'll have to see if I can find the photo I took.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Squirrel patrol

We recently added one of those suction-cup bird feeders to our window, and naturally it's the squirrel who found it first. I don't know how he knows that the cat (Sophia) can't get to him, but there he sits, boldly eating all the peanuts. Cheeky squirrel!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall berries

I don't know what kind of tree this is, but the plump, red berries are pretty, especially when poised against a blue sky. You can really see them now that the tree leaves have fallen, adding a different source of color to my favorite time of year.

Friday, November 4, 2011

PaperDolls of Saratoga

PaperDolls of Saratoga is a stationery and paper boutique in Saratoga Springs, NY, that carries beautiful note cards, invitations, and that just-right gift. Last week proprietors Cora and Sarah moved their shop from Henry Street two blocks west to Broadway, right in the middle of all the action. Definitely worth stopping by if you're in the area. And guess what: they carry JAKE & META!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

2012 calendar

Our 2012 "Year in Bloom" mini desktop calendar is out! And we have a promotion going on this month—just visit our facebook for the promo code. Ends 11/30.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

A jack-o-lantern carved by one of my nephews. Such a great gap-toothed smile! And here we have a pint-sized giraffe on candy patrol. I was very impressed with his restraint, though I must say we both ate a lot of candy ourselves!

Friday, October 28, 2011

State fair goat

Another shot from last year's NC State Fair. I love how you can get "up close and personal" with the goats and other livestock! I've heard that goats possess personalities the way dogs do. I would say this one is of the out-going and inquisitive sort, wouldn't you?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Canopy overhead

Walking around the neighborhood today I looked up, and this is what I saw. Such amazing colors, and again a crisp blue sky. They say we might have some snow flurries this weekend. Before Halloween??

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fall colors still abound

Fall colors are still in full swing, including this gorgeous maple tree whose picture I took yesterday. The afternoon was a little chilly, but I love the canopy of tree branches over the sidewalk, especially when the leaves are so colorful.

Friday, October 21, 2011

World's largest pumpkin

While this is the runner-up pumpkin weighing in at 1,807 lb, I hear the the NY Botanical Garden is showcasing a world record-breaking pumpkin weighing 1,818 lb! That's almost 1,000 pounds more than the biggest one at the NC State Fair last year.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

State fair pumpkins

While this photo is from last year's NC State Fair (going on now), the pumpkins still impress today with their remarkable size. The largest one, in the center, weighed in at 864 lb. Huge!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beautiful fall colors

The leaves are definitely changing, and the beautiful weather this weekend with bright blue skies, wispy white clouds, and a crisp breeze meant my camera was out at every turn. I love fall days like these. Several nearby maples were so vibrant I couldn't stop taking pictures.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Horse of chalk

Chalkboards aren't just for kids! Recently I drew this horse and then thought he looked as though he could use some attention. I haven't ridden in a long time, but I'm thinking maybe I should get back in the saddle...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Maple syrup in action

A trip to Vermont is not complete without treating oneself to maple syrup, which is exactly what I did this weekend. The drive was beautiful, with lots of color in the trees, and even though many towns and roads had been ravaged recently by hurricane Irene, almost all routes were open and businesses were bustling. Fortunately that included my favorite spot on Route 9, home to the little calf I drew so many years ago. They even had a new one—he was a little under the weather, but they assured me he'll make a full recovery.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chesapeake buoys

Finding beauty in the everyday is often easy on a shoreline, especially when there might be a crab pot nearby. Many buoys seemed to be bobbing in the water just off shore, but this batch was on recess and posed beautifully for the camera.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Double rainbow

This past weekend on the Chesapeake Bay we were treated to 2 rainbows coming straight up out of the water—the colors of the one on the left were so intense at the base. But what I'd never seen before were the bands of light coming off the rainbow toward the imaginary center, sort of like the spokes on a wheel; you can see them here if you look closely. Spectacular.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October promotion

With fall comes Vermont maple syrup and leaves changing to yellows and oranges. So our October promotion features 25% off Vermont Calf and Cucumber Blossom note cards; just enter code "OctPROMO" at checkout. Offer ends 10/31.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Balloon Festival (cont'd)

Here are 2 more pictures from the Balloon Festival last weekend. One can never have too many balloons—they're so festive and fun! I've never been up in one, have you?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Balloon Festival

I had never been this close to a hot air balloon before this past weekend. My vantage point here is looking up into one that had just been filled using VERY hot flames. Seeing them all in one field and up close was quite something. I loved all the colors!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The colors of autumn

What a beautiful Saturday in the Adirondacks. The leaves have already started to change, and the sun coming through the clouds intermittently made for some very pretty lighting on our drive.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Little finds

I smile when I find little things here and there that I think someone might like (especially if they're for a writing desk!), like these horn canisters from Ballard Design. Stylish and small, for the person who has everything—I already have someone in mind for Christmas...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monthly promotion #1

We've decided to start offering monthly promotions! For September, it's 50% off oleander note cards; just enter code "SeptPROMO" at checkout. If you have one of our 2011 YEAR in BLOOM mini desktop calendars, you might notice that oleander is this month's feature—a flowering shrub I first discovered in France. Offer ends 9/30.

Monday, September 19, 2011

From one JAKE to another

While out on the west coast recently, I stopped for dinner in Del Mar, CA. As though the view from the table (sun setting over the Pacific) and the ambiance (the sound of the ocean, which I love) weren't enough, the restaurant's name was Jake's! I knew right away I was in the right spot.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Around town (cont'd)

I used to love to go to the flea markets, especially the Sunday one on Columbus Ave @77th St. This picture was taken at a market in Hell's Kitchen. I bought an old textile mill canister that day that I still use for my recycling.
I signed up for a walking tour of Tribeca one day, from a very knowledgeable guide who advertised in Time Out New York magazine. The decorative facade and contrasting logistically-necessary staircase caught my eye here.
Bustling 42nd Street is never quiet, but the stately Chrysler Building stands still against the darkening blue sky. Grand Central Terminal is the low building all lit up.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Around town

The cherry trees in Central Park bloom in the spring, and if you're lucky enough to be sitting under one at that time, this is what you see. Absolutely beautiful.
One of the great things about the Manhattan skyline is the water towers and various pipes and shapes you see jutting out of the roofs. This photo was taken in Tribeca from a friend's roof deck.
The abundance of seafood in Chinatown is amazing. This was one of several vendors on Canal Street, their bins almost overflowing with variety. When I snapped this photo, several of the vendors looked up and shouted, "One dollar!"

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I've been thinking a lot about today's anniversary, as I'm sure most people in this country have. I lived in NYC at that time and was on my way to work that morning. Remembering that day has led me to look back through photos I've taken in the city over the years, so I thought I would share a few here. (I might add more over the next couple of days.) There are none from 9/11 (I didn't have my digital camera yet that I take with me everywhere now, though I'm not sure I would have taken pictures that day anyway); these photos are of beautiful buildings and street scenes—the kind of New York City I like to think about. Above: Chrysler Building; below, in order: sculpture outside Lincoln Center, Alwyn Court (home of Petrossian restaurant), the Hudson River at sunset, Lucky Brand window display on the Upper West Side.