30 July 2010

Confessions of a blog-aholic

Oh, how I wish time would stand still while I'm blogging! For the past three days, I have set out to write a post on the Italian design house of Missoni, only to get side-tracked right from the get-go, and have spent most of the rest of each day looking at other people's posts. Here's a typical chain of events: I start by reading my email and my Facebook wall, both of which will have updates from several blogs I follow. My morning coffee is always accompanied by at least two excellent blogs, Cote de Texas for decorating, and David Lebovitz for food. One that I get on Facebook, every week or so is At Home with Patricia Wells, about food and French living.

Attractive pictures like these, from the three blogs mentioned above, always entice me into the stories they accompany.
(top to bottom: David Lebovitz, Patricia Wells, 
Cote de Texas)

Okay, so I start by going to one of these blogs to read the entire post, and my eye gets drawn over to the sidebar, where I see a list that is typically called something like "my blogroll" or "blogs of note". I click on one of these and read it's most recent post, but of course, I get side tracked into looking at that author's favorite blogs, and click on links out from there...so it continues on and on. In fact, sometimes I get so far off the beaten path that I wish I were Hansel and Gretel, leaving breadcrumbs, so I could follow my path back to where I started! Since most of the bloggers I like are interested in various different aspects of lifestyle and design, I go from cooking, to art, to interior design, to crafts, to table settings, back to cooking...you can see where I'm going here: in "no time at all" I realize I have burned up half of my day!

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. In so many ways, other bloggers have opened up new ideas to me, and I count lots of inspiration as having come from them. The only thing is, I'm not writing my own blog while I'm reading everyone else's. Do other bloggers set a time limit on how much surfing they do? Or do they set aside a specific time each day when they do nothing other than write their own posts? I wish I knew, as I am positive most bloggers spend a lot of time, just as I do, looking at what others have to offer.

My own blog list is divided (as you can see in the left column) into various categories, to make it easier for people (moi included) to find certain subjects. Even so, my lists are all growing to the point where I have just decided to list them all in alphabetical order. That way, nothing gets lost in the shuffle. I have to say that I really enjoy all of the blogs I have listed as my favorites. Each and every one is superb quality in terms of written descriptions, as well as photography (in my opinion!) If I decide I don't care so much for a blog after a while, I delete it from my list.

Some blogs are so gorgeous they practically make me weep with pleasure. Others have great DIY advice, and a lot of the food ones make me incredibly hungry - usually at a time of day when I shouldn't be thinking of eating (actually I think about food most of the time...but still!)

I want to highlight all of my favorite blogs/websites, over time. For today, here are some of the ones that I consider to be so beautiful and inspiring, I could practically eat them up (and I'm talking about the photos and styling - not necessarily food.) I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. (Click on the name to visit each blog.)

Australian interior designer with lovely photos, happy colors,
and DIY projects.

Written by a Basque chef/photographer, currently living in the United States. Gorgeous photos, interesting commentary and fabulous recipes, such as Lavender and Orange Macaroons.

Carolyne is, bar none, my favorite book stylist and author. Her site will have you hooked at the opening peony. (You'll see what I mean.)
I own all of her books.

I have met Charlotte and she is as charming as her photos. Her blog has beautiful decorating ideas, and is a great source of inspiration.
I also own all of her books.

Lovely French recipes and photos that make you long to be there!
An interior designer with a modern take on old French sensibilities, Joni often features other designers, as well as in depth reportage on specific houses. She puts an amazing amount of time and thought into her research - always worth reading. Tons of pictures, too.

An American in Paris and former pastry chef at Chez Panisse (I'm jealous already, David!) who is also the author of several terrific cookbooks, and has a wry sense of humor. His food posts and recipes are always good, as are his other posts involving subjects such as travel and flea market finds in the countryside.

Eddie is incredibly talented, and not just because he worked for so long with Martha Stewart and then House Beautiful. He has an innate sense of design in everything he touches, plus he styles such pretty photo settings! To top it all off, he's an alum of the Culinary Institute of America, where my son is.
(I soooo want to meet this guy!!)

By a private chef and cookbook author. This picture just about says it all. Divine recipes to match.

My favorite muralist of all time, Graham Rust has also written and illustrated some of my favorite books, such as The Painted House.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but I also love the descriptions and recipes. Too beautiful!

Italian cooking, recipes and local photos. Includes podcasts in English.

Basically, I want to move right into this place in Normandy. The owner, Sharon, is welcome to stick around, too, as I know we'd have such fun together, creating table settings and other vignettes.

Written by an interior designer from Australia. Interesting pictures and commentary on international locations.

Dutch site with monochromatic styling. Very peaceful interiors.

Coty started out at a young age, working for Vogue Living Magazine. Her incredible styling talent is evident in all of her photographs. Truly charming commentary, as well.

Nice photos, and interesting ideas, such as this post on closets.

Real life decorating! This site features diverse creative thinkers from around the world, in their own homes - all highly personal and generally eccentric. (I also adore their book.)

British blog with mouth-watering pictures and great recipes. Unusual plating combinations.

This is my latest discovery - so much fun to see everyday! What could be better than different artists describing their recipes in their own style? Drawn or painted, they are all different and all tickle my fancy!

Features mostly French Flea Market style. Every post is simply a
joy to look at.

From Northern California. Beautiful photographs, with a focus on even more beautiful table settings! Apparently, Delores has a china/tabletop accessory obsession like me.

This California couple loves to photograph, travel, cook and write - and share this winning combination on their beautiful blog.

Lastly, I simply must mention Donna Ruhlman Photography, although I can't grab any of her food photos to display here. She has the most outstandingly gorgeous pictures of food that anyone could imagine. Her lighting is spectacular. Check it out!

How anyone writing in the blogosphere gets much work done, without detouring off the path constantly, is a mystery to me. I love looking at all of my favorites, even reading the ones in foreign languages, (as well as trying to figure out what the ones in languages I don't speak are saying). This is a daily journey that I adore, and I hope you will have picked up some new blog diversions, here, as well.

Happy reading!
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